As Generic Drug Prices Soar, Many Call For Greater Scrutiny
Elsewhere, The Wall Street Journal looks at lobbying for rare disease research, and Vice President Joe Biden urges advocates to lobby Congress for $6.2 billion for Ebola aid.
The Wall Street Journal:
Will Rising Prices For Some Generic Drugs Never End?
In the frenetic U.S. health-care system, one thing has generally been constant—a generic drug is a low-cost alternative to brand-name medicines. But over the past year, this reliable view of the world has begun to change as reports emerged of consumers encountering substantial increases for some drugs. One notable example is a heart drug known as digoxin, which used to sell for pennies a pill, but a month’s supply can now fetch up to $1,200—although the average cost is closer to $50, according to GoodRx.com, a website that tracks prices. (Silverman, 11/13)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
U.S. Prices Soaring For Some Generics
Market forces are dramatically driving up the cost of some generic drugs, prompting U.S. investigations into the pricing of what should be cheap alternatives to brand-name medications. Generics that should cost pennies per dose have undergone radical increases in price in recent years, said Dr. Aaron Kesselheim, author of a new commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine, and director of the Program on Regulation, Therapeutics and Law at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. (Thompson, 11/13)
The Wall Street Journal's Pharmalot:
How Lobbying For Rare Disease Research Influences Congress And NIH
For years, patient advocates and families have lobbied Congress for more funds to combat rare diseases. But to what extent does lobbying make a difference when Congress sets appropriations and the National Institutes of Health makes funding decisions? A new study suggests lobbying by private groups does, indeed, influence federal funding for rare disease research. Every dollar spent on lobbying generated congressional support in the form of soft earmarks, which are passages in an appropriations bill that urge or encourage spending but do not carry the rule of law. In this instance, the term refers to providing funding for NIH research into particular diseases. (Silverman, 11/13)
The Wall Street Journal:
Biden Urges Groups To Lobby Congress For $6.2 Billion In Ebola Funds
Vice President Joe Biden urged lawmakers on Thursday to take up the administration’s request for more than $6 billion in emergency aid to deal with the worldwide Ebola outbreak. Speaking to activists and leaders from humanitarian, non-governmental and religious organizations, Mr. Biden called for members of those groups to go to Capitol Hill and make their voices heard in the forthcoming congressional debate over the funding request. (Tau, 11/13)