For Investors, Drug Pricing Anxiety Is Real
Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration is proposing that drug makers pay fees to the agency for reviewing over-the-counter monographs. Also, a group of Harvard Medical School researchers finds another link between medical industry payments to physicians and prescribing behavior.
The Wall Street Journal:
Drug Pricing: Get Used To The Anxiety
Worries about drug pricing aren’t new for investors. But Wednesday brought another reminder that the pressure is real. The health insurer Cignaid Wednesday it reached “value-based” contracts to cover Praluent and Repatha, two drugs that help lower cholesterol. The drugs, introduced last year by Amgen and Sanofi in partnership with Regeneron, are promising but pricey. Each costs at least $14,000 per year before discounts. Cigna’s contracts thus “modify the cost” based on how well patients respond to the medicines, the insurer said. (Grant, 5/11)
FDA Wants Drug Makers To Pay Fees To Review OTC Medicines
The US Food and Drug Administration is paid fees by the pharmaceutical industry to review brand-name and generic drugs. Now, the agency wants to collect money to review over-the-counter medicines. Specifically, the agency wants companies to pay for reviewing OTC monographs. Unlike brand-name and generic drugs, which involve individual companies seeking approval to market individual drugs, the OTC monographs refer to multiple medicines that share the same ingredient for the same use. Moreover, numerous companies can make these drugs, but do not require FDA approval prior to marketing. (Silverman, 5/11)
Another Study Finds Link Between Pharma Money And Brand-Name Prescribing
A group of researchers at Harvard Medical School has found that medical industry payments to physicians in Massachusetts are associated with higher rates of prescribing brand-name drugs that treat high cholesterol. (Grochowski Jones, 5/10)
And here's the latest on Valeant —
The New York Times:
Valeant Promised Price Breaks On Drugs. Heart Hospitals Are Still Waiting.
The Cleveland Clinic is widely seen as the top heart hospital in the country, so when Valeant Pharmaceuticals International pledged to Congress that it would offer hospitals breaks of as much as 30 percent on two of its expensive heart drugs, officials at the hospital figured they would hear from the company soon. “I think we definitely would be among the top users,” said Scott Knoer, the chief pharmacy officer at the Cleveland Clinic. The two drugs, Nitropress and Isuprel, are commonly used to treat heart patients, and their prices shot up last year after Valeant acquired them. The clinic spent more than $5.3 million on the two drugs in 2015. “I would assume we would be on that list.” Instead, there has been silence. (Thomas, 5/11)