People Keep Using Car Sticker Analogy To Argue For Drug Price Transparency. Here’s Why The Comparison Doesn’t Work.
The common comparison of having increased transparency in drug pricing to forcing car companies to add sticker prices is flawed because it overstates the usefulness of the knowledge by implying that patients have much more power to act — to shop around or negotiate — than they actually do. In other pharmaceutical news: lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill, money for a biotech firm, and a CBO projection on the Senate's drug pricing bill.
Why High Drug Prices Are Not Like Cars' Sticker Prices
High drug prices are a hot topic in politics right now. President Trump has made lowering them a cornerstone of his re-election bid and is pushing a variety of ideas to get that done. But politicians — of either party -- who want to rally the public around this have a challenge: Drug pricing is incredibly complex and convoluted. Just explaining what it is — let alone how to fix it — is really hard. You know what's great for understanding complicated things? Analogies. (Simmons-Duffin, 7/17)
Drug Industry Deploys Its Top Guns To Capitol Hill
The pharmaceutical industry deployed its top guns to Capitol Hill on Wednesday as senators pushed to find consensus on a major package of drug pricing reforms. Spotted in the Senate basement at lunchtime: Stephen Ubl, the head of the industry lobbying organization PhRMA, and Dr. Giovanni Caforio, the CEO of Bristol Myers-Squibb. Their appearances were well-timed. Earlier Wednesday, Republicans lawmakers were briefed by the Congressional Budget Office on a drug pricing bill still under development in the Senate Finance Committee. Democrats were scheduled to receive the same briefing on Wednesday afternoon. (Facher, Florko and Joseph, 7/17)
Led By Gilead Alumni, Kronos Raises $105 Million
Norbert Bischofberger, a former Gilead executive, has been running Kronos Bio for a little more than a year — and it’s been a year full of changes. The company has a fresh logo, programs inching closer to clinical trials, and more than $100 million of new money from a financing round announced Thursday. Kronos, which has offices in Cambridge, Mass., and near San Francisco, is hoping to find new small-molecule drugs for cancer using a novel method for screening potential drug targets. (Sheridan, 7/18)
Senate Drug-Pricing Proposal Will Save Money, CBO Says
Senate Finance Committee Republicans have yet to agree on their compromise package to lower drug prices, but Congressional Budget Office staffers estimated Wednesday that the bill would save money for both the government and Medicare beneficiaries. The cornerstone of the proposal from committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is a cap on drug price hikes. If manufacturers raise their prices above the rate of inflation, they would have to pay rebates to the government. CBO's projected savings come from the proposed Medicare Part D redesign and these inflation caps. (Luthi, 7/17)