Perspectives: Drug Prices Out Of Control? Not So Much, Actually
Read recent commentaries about drug-cost issues.
The Myth Of Sky-High Drug Prices
Politicians from both parties have come to a rare consensus: drug prices are spiraling out of control. To bring prices down, most Democratic senators and a dozen of their Republican colleagues want to legalize importation of price-controlled drugs from Canada. And Democrats and the Trump administration have both called for Medicare, the public insurance program for older and disabled Americans, to impose its own de-facto price controls. (Robert A. Freeman, 5/24)
Patient Safety Must Be The First Priority For Approving New Biosimilars
The Food and Drug Administration will hold an Advisory Committee meeting today to approve a new biosimilar, the fifth drug approved by the FDA in this new class of treatments that are highly similar to, but not exact copies of, biologic treatments. While biosimilars have the potential to increase access to drugs that may improve the lives of patients, the FDA must first put in place critical guidances to ensure patient safety. (Larry LaMotte, 5/25)
The True Goal Of The FDA Should Be Drug Innovation
Last week, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions met to consider legislation that would reauthorize the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) user fee programs. These programs make up a large part of the agency’s budget. This process will continue over the next several weeks. (Jordan Reimschisel, 5/29)
Can We Lower Drug Costs?
It's no secret that U.S. prescription drug spending outpaces that in other countries. In fact, in America, per capita drug spending is higher than that in all other countries, researchers reported in JAMA. Even patients within the United States pay different prices for their prescription drugs, according to which government system or insurer is involved in the patient's coverage. (Lisette Hilton, 5/27)
Trump's Quiet On Drug Pricing, But His FDA Isn't
Scott Gottlieb, the Trump administration's FDA commissioner, generally gets a big thumbs-up from the pharmaceutical industry. But he may end up making some drugmakers unhappy. An ex-FDA official, physician, industry consultant, and biotech investor, Gottlieb is seen as industry friendly and was certainly preferable to some other less experienced and more extreme candidates the White House floated. But he seems to have a mandate that includes getting drug prices under control -- a topic he mentioned in his initial remarks to FDA staff on May 15. (Max Nisen, 5/24)
Trump Should Put Consumers First In Zika Deal
The Trump Administration, led by a president who repeatedly boasts that his business acumen will bring jobs back to American soil, now seems poised to strike a deal that will Make France Great Again. Or, more specifically, enrich the French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur by granting an exclusive license to patents for a Zika vaccine. There’s no question that a vaccine for the mosquito-borne scourge is urgently needed. The virus, which can cause severe birth defects and paralysis, is nothing less than a full-blown global health emergency. Zika has been reported in 84 countries, according to the World Health Organization, and is exploding in Puerto Rico, with 40,000 confirmed cases — and health officials believe that as many as 1 million have been infected, according to NPR. Some 5,000 US cases were reported in 2016. (5/30)