How Much More Do Americans Pay For A Drug Than Others Around Globe? Report Quantifies Gap
News outlets report on the pharmaceutical drug industry.
US Often Pays Much More Than Other Countries For Prescription Drugs, Surgery
A new report illustrates in graphic terms how health insurers in the United States routinely pay higher — often much higher — prices for certain prescription drugs and common surgeries than those in other developed countries. The report, issued by the insurance industry group International Federation of Health Plans, notes that a normal delivery of a baby in the United States has an average cost to insurers of more than $10,800. That's five times what a major insurer pays in Spain for the same kind of a delivery, and more than twice what a major insurer pays in Australia. And some insurers in the U.S. are paying $18,000 or more per normal delivery, the report noted. (Mangan, 7/18)
America’s Health Care Prices Are Out Of Control. These 11 Charts Prove It.
In 2014 alone, millions of Americans spent a combined $6.5 billion on Humira prescriptions. But we probably didn’t have to. While Americans paid an average price of $2,669 for Humira, the Swiss were able to buy the exact same drug for $822 — and in the United Kingdom, patients got it for $1,362. If the United States paid what the Swiss paid for the arthritis drug, we would have spent $2 billion on Humira in 2014 rather than $6.5 billion. (Kliff and Oh, 7/19)
Novartis Buries News That The FDA Rebuffed Its Biosimilar Drug
Amid various woes that forced Novartis to warn profits may disappoint this year, one area was thought to be a bright spot — biosimilars. Its Sandoz unit has been a leader in marketing these lower-priced versions of expensive biologics, but last month hit an unexpected snag. Buried in its earnings announcement this morning was a brief sentence saying it received some bad news from US regulators. The Food and Drug Administration issued a so-called complete response letter rejecting its bid — for now — to market a biosimilar version of Neulasta, which was a $4.7 billion seller last year for Amgen. (Silverman, 7/19)
Prescription Drug Prices in America Are Rising Like No Other Industry
The high cost of prescription drugs has been causing pain and hardships for millions of Americans for years. And the situation appears to only be getting worse: Drug prices have risen an average of nearly 10% over the 12-month period ending in May 2016—a time when the overall inflation rate was just 1% in the U.S. (Tuttle, 7/14)
Bristol-Myers Pays $30 Million To Settle Kickback Charges
After nearly a decade of litigation, Bristol-Myers Squibb on Monday agreed to pay $30 million to settle charges by California officials of paying kickbacks to induce doctors to prescribe several of its medicines. The settlement with the California Department of Insurance stemmed from a whistleblower lawsuit that was filed in 2007 by three former Bristol-Myers employees. They alleged that from 1997 through 2003, the drug maker used a wide variety of inducements to generate revenue. The state later joined the lawsuit in 2011 and, last year, the former employees were dismissed from the case by a state court. (Silverman, 7/19)
Teva, One Of The Biggest Generic Makers, Joins The The Brand-Name Club
In a move that underscores the changing landscape of the pharmaceutical industry, the chief trade group has officially accepted one of the world’s largest generic drug makers into its ranks. Last Friday, Teva Pharmaceuticals became a member of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which has burnished its reputation on Capitol Hill and elsewhere as a staunch defender of brand-name companies. The decision to accept Teva, which had been telegraphed in recent days, came as a surprise to some industry watchers, given the historical rivalry between brand-name and generic manufacturers. (Silverman, 7/18)
Los Angeles Times:
As Need Grows For Painkiller Overdose Treatment, Companies Raise Prices
Naloxone works by blocking the effect that painkillers and heroin have in the brain and reversing the slowed breathing and unconsciousness that come with an overdose. ... But as the demand for naloxone has risen -- overdose deaths now total 130 every day, or roughly the capacity of a Boeing 737 -- the drug’s price has soared. Not long ago, a dose of the decades-old generic drug cost little more than a dollar. Now the lowest available price is nearly 20 times that. (Petersen, 7/17)
What Can't Medical Marijuana Do?
The twin issues of prescription drug costs and opioids have been among the country’s most pressing concerns for months, and have defied easy policy solutions. But these problems might have at least one cheap and unmistakably pungent partial solution: medical marijuana. A growing body of research indicates legalization of medical marijuana is associated with lower health-care costs and fewer prescriptions for seniors, and also associated with reduced deaths from opioids. (Newkirk, 7/18)
To Split Or Not To Split? One Wall Street Wag Thinks Pfizer May Remain Intact
After its deal to acquire Allergan fell apart three months ago, Pfizer executives indicated they may split the company into different parts. The idea, which Pfizer first floated five years ago, would presumably unlock, or bolster, shareholder value by creating two different entities to produce older drugs and another that would focus on newer medicines. A decision is expected later this year, but one Wall Street analyst is questioning whether the big drug maker will follow through. (Silverman, 7/18)