Infants’ Tylenol Used To Be More Concentrated But Now It’s The Same As Children’s Version. So Why Does It Cost Three Times More?
News outlets report on stories related to pharmaceutical pricing.
Tylenol For Infants And Children Is The Same. Why Does 1 Cost 3 Times More?
If you've ever had a little one at home with a fever, you might have noticed two options for Tylenol at the store. There's one for infants and one for children. They contain the same amount of medicine — 160 milligrams of acetaminophen per 5 milliliters of liquid — but the infant version costs three times more.What gives? It turns out, there's a backstory. (Simmons-Duffin, 5/27)
The Wall Street Journal:
The Hidden Formula That Determines How Much You Pay For Drugs
Drug pricing is complicated and secretive. WSJ explains how the flow of money, drugs and rebates behind the scenes may drive up the price of prescription medicine for consumers. (5/28)
FTC Says Pay-To-Delay Cases Fell, Prompting Trade Group To Argue Legislation Isn’t Needed
Although more drug makers are settling patent lawsuits, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission found a dramatic drop in the number of so-called pay-to-delay deals, which the regulator and consumer watchdogs argue unfairly rob Americans of lower-cost alternatives to their prescription medicines. In discussing the findings, which were from fiscal year 2016, the FTC argued that the decline in such deals underscores the fact that brand-name and generic drug makers can settle patent litigation without having to resort to anti-competitive terms. A trade group for the generic industry, meanwhile, contended the data show that legislation designed to eliminate pay-to-delay deals is unnecessary. (Silverman, 5/24)
The Washington Post:
The Price Of Insulin Is Surging. This State Is The First To Make Insurance Companies Eat The Cost.
A new Colorado law will ensure that those living with diabetes will spend no more than $100 per month on insulin, making it the first state to limit the cost of an increasingly expensive medication millions of Americans rely on. More than 30 million Americans have diabetes, and some 7.4 million of them must take insulin every day to live, according to the American Diabetes Association. Although insulin was discovered nearly a century ago, costs continue to rise. A January report from the Health Care Cost Institute, a nonpartisan research organization, found the price of an insulin prescription roughly doubled nationwide from 2012 to 2016. (Donovan-Smith, 5/24)
The CT Mirror:
ACU Promotes Trump's End To Drug Rebates, CT Insurers Oppose Plan
The American Conservative Union has launched print, digital and cable ads lauding President Donald Trump’s plan to curtail a complex system of prescription drug price rebates that pharmaceuticals pay to insurers and pharmacy benefit managers. The ads say seniors can save up to 30% on the cost of their medicine and urge Americans to call the White House and thank the president “for fighting for Rx Drug Discounts for Seniors (Radelat, 5/29)
The Wall Street Journal:
Drug Giant Tries New Tactic To Fight Cancer
Seeking an edge in the increasingly competitive market for cancer drugs, one of the industry’s largest companies is taking a bold but risky approach: targeting the early stages of the disease. AstraZeneca PLC’s new cancer research chief, José Baselga, wants the company to prioritize early-stage cancers over advanced disease when developing new cancer drugs. If successful, his unorthodox strategy could reap rewards for both patients—the potential to cure cancer is much greater when it is treated early—and company coffers. (Roland, 5/27)
Will Drug Prices In TV Ads Really Be Transparent?
A website launched by pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly LLY, -0.88% earlier this year leads with a daunting statement about the price of its diabetes drug Trulicity: “Drug prices can be confusing,” it says. That’s for sure, and thanks to a new mandate from the Trump administration, consumers could find themselves even more confused. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said in May that it will require drugmakers to include “list prices” in television ads for all medicines covered by Medicare or Medicaid that cost $35 or more for a one-month supply or for a full course. (Since private insurers and employer-run plans typically cover these drugs, too, the rule is likely to affect most prescription medications touted on TV.) (Weintraub, 5/28)
US News & World Report:
Though 'Donut Hole' Is Shrinking, Medicare Drug Costs Are Rising: Study
Seniors' out-of-pocket costs for cancer drugs continue to rise steadily, with patients paying thousands of dollars each year despite efforts to close the Medicare Part D "donut hole," researchers said. Prices for 13 anticancer drugs available through Medicare Part D in 2010 rose an average 8% over inflation every year over the past decade, said lead researcher Stacie Dusetzina. She is an associate professor of health policy and cancer research at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn. (Thompson, 5/28)
Debate Erupts Over Whether Sarepta’s Rare Disease Drug Has Enough Clinical Data To Determine Cost-Effectiveness
A new controversy is emerging over a costly treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare disease that can send boys to an early death, thanks to a new analysis suggesting that clinical data is so limited that it is impossible to determine whether the medication is worth a price tag of $300,000 or more. The medicine, which is called Exondys 51 and marketed by Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT), caused a heated public debate over regulatory approval standards and satisfying unmet medical needs during the run-up to its endorsement nearly three years ago by the Food and Drug Administration. (Silverman, 5/23)
Glaxo Revamps Sales Rep Compensation As Part Of An Effort To Compete In The Cancer Market
For the second time in less than a year, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is reworking promotional practices in order to boost prescriptions, and its latest move will provide greater incentives for its sales reps. The change comes as Glaxo attempts to compete in the burgeoning oncology market, a step underscored with its recent $5 billion acquisition of Tesaro, which sells a treatment for ovarian cancer. The deal helped return the drug maker to the commercial cancer business, which demands that promotional efforts match what rivals are doing. (Silverman, 5/23)