Perspectives: Doctors Often Say They’re Not Influenced By Gifts From Pharma. Research Suggests Otherwise.
Read recent commentaries about drug-cost issues.
Doctors Often Don't See Conflict Of Interest In Drug Company Cash
Doctors, when surveyed, say they are opposed to the very idea of skewing their prescribing practice in favor of companies giving them money. The problem is, they still take lots of money in the form of honoraria, speaking fees, research grants, and outright gifts from pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Research suggests they can then fail to recognize that they’ve been influenced. (Faye Flam, 10/4)
GSK Is Paying Docs Again — And Patients Are The Worse Off
Seeking to recover from sensational marketing scandals, GlaxoSmithKline did something unexpected five years ago — the company promised it would no longer pay doctors to promote its medicines, which had been a long-standing industry practice. The move came not long after Glaxo paid $3 billion in fines in the U.S. for illegal marketing and kickbacks, among other things, and also followed reports the company showered doctors and government officials in China with bribes. With its announcement, Glaxo won praise for setting a new tone and raised hopes other drug makers would follow suit. (Ed Silverman, 10/10)
Pharma Won't Tell You That You Can Pay Less For Drugs — Sen. Collins Is Fighting To Change That
This month, Congress sent the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act and the Know the Lowest Price Act of 2018 to President Trump’s desk for signature. These bills, which were sponsored by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), help protect Medicare patients and those with private insurance from overpaying for prescription drugs by outlawing pharmacy “gag clauses.” (Roger Klein, 10/8)
Nobel Prizes Bring Out Best And Worst In Pharma
The Nobel Prize is one of the world’s top honors for recognizing groundbreaking work in science, diplomacy and other fields. But this year’s awards in medicine and chemistry stand out even in august company. The prize in medicine, given Monday to James Allison and Tasuku Honjo, recognized their research on the immune system, which has led to drugs that have changed the treatment outlook for deadly cancers. On Wednesday, George Smith and Gregory Winter were awarded the chemistry prize for work that helped produce AbbVie Inc.’s Humira, the world’s best-selling drug, as well as a number of other of antibody treatments that have helped improve and extend the lives of millions of patients. (Max Nisen, 10/7)
Strengthening And Protecting Part D Is An Important Challenge
It is difficult to remember now, but prior to the enactment of Medicare Part D in 2003, millions of Americans who relied on Medicare for their health-care coverage, did not have access to a comprehensive prescription drug benefit. My, how times have changed. On Sept. 18, an historic summit was convened to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Part D. Attendees heard from patient advocates, experts and policy makers who have seen firsthand Part D’s life-saving impacts. We were also honored to be joined by the man who signed it into law — President George W. Bush. (Carl Schmid, 10/3)
Drug Prices Should Be Based On Their Value
Pharmaceutical companies produce a pipeline of essential medicines that can make people’s lives longer, happier and more comfortable. Their innovations are respected and appreciated by all of us. Unfortunately, some of the big drug companies price their drugs at unreasonable and unaffordable levels that disproportionately impact those of low-to-moderate incomes and with chronic health challenges. (Miranda Motter, 10/5)