Perspectives: Reality Of Global Drug Pricing Is Much More Complex Than Trump Realizes
Read recent commentaries about drug-cost issues.
Dear Mr. President: Your Big Idea On Drug Pricing Is Half-Baked
Let’s be blunt: Your idea is half-baked. Why? Because it is much more complicated than you think. Unlike the United States, most other countries provide some form of insurance coverage for their populations and take responsibility for negotiating drug prices. Government agencies around the world have been pushing back against drug makers over the rising cost of medicines, a development that has proven not only popular with voters, but increasingly necessary given strained budgets. Some Americans, however, grumble that they are, in effect, subsidizing other countries. That may be true, but the US has failed to take any significant steps to lower prices. (Ed Silverman, 2/6)
Trump Had One Good Idea. Then He Ditched It.
It wasn't all that long ago -- though it seems that way, admittedly, with the never-ending flood of Trumpian news -- that I was prepared to acknowledge that President Donald Trump actually has a few good ideas. Or at least one. It was Tuesday morning. The new president was about to go into a meeting with chief executives from Johnson & Johnson, Merck and a handful of other major pharma companies. During his campaign, he often said that if he were elected, the federal government would start negotiating with the drug companies over the prices Medicare and Medicaid had to pay for drugs -- something it's now prevented from doing by statute. This is an issue that resonated with most Americans, the majority of whom want the government to do something about high drug prices. (Joe Nocera, 2/2)
The Washington Post:
Trump Loses Backbone On Drug Prices. Is There A Pill For That?
Amid all the kerfuffle in the last week over immigration, the Supreme Court, Iran and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s TV ratings, too little attention was paid to an extraordinary meeting at the White House at which President Trump reneged on a campaign promise and sold out millions of “forgotten” Americans to giant drug companies. (Steven Pearlstein, 2/4)
St. Louis Post Dispatch:
Trump Must Follow Tough Talk On Drug Pricing With Action
Another runaway drug-pricing problem is putting an easy-to-use version of naloxone, a life-saving drug that can reverse an opioid overdose, out of reach for most drug addicts, their families and first responders. The cost of an auto-inject version of the drug, specifically approved for people without medical training to use in life-threatening situations, has increased more than 500 percent to $4,500 since 2014. The wholesale price of insulin, a life-saving drug for some 1.25 million Americans who suffer from Type 1 diabetes, increased from $45 for a highly concentrated monthly form in 2001, to $1,447 last year. This is life and death for patients whose pancreases can’t make insulin. (2/5)
Hate High Drug Prices? Blame Greedy Companies And Our Politicians
One might first think that Acthar was an ancient civilization in Mesopotamia or a prison facility in upstate New York. In fact, it is the most expensive drug for the U.S. government. In 2015, Medicare paid $504 million for H.P. Acthar Gel, an average of $162,300 per patient. So then it must at least be the hottest new drug for cancer or dementia, right? Not so, unfortunately. (Dr. Hagop M. Kantarjian and Michael A. Carrier, 2/1)
Complicated, Expensive Drug Market Needs Simplification
Production costs are rarely the key factor in determining a price, because when your life depends on a drug, you will pay almost anything to get it.Just ask the 8,000 people in the U.S. and Europe who suffer from paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, a disease that destroys red blood cells at night, causing life-threatening clots, anemia and organ failure. Alexion Pharmaceutical's drug Soliris is the only treatment available, and it can cost $440,000 a year, making it the most expensive drug sold in. (Chris Tomlinson, 2/7)
Repatha Will Test The New Drug Pricing Reality
The epic battle between drug makers and the insurers and pharmacy benefit managers that pay for their medicines just opened a fascinating new front. Amgen Inc.'s earnings report Thursday afternoon was largely overshadowed by its announcement that its cholesterol-lowering drug Repatha succeeded in a clinical trial designed to prove it helps prevent heart attacks and other cardiovascular events. (Max Nisen, 2/3)
Killing TPP Saved Poor Countries From High Drug Prices. How About Saving Ourselves?
Donald Trump is well known to be no fan of the Trans Pacific Partnership. In fact, one of his first acts as president was to issue a notice that the U.S. is withdrawing from the agreement, citing concerns that the deal is unfair to American workers. While Trump was focused primarily on the trade aspects of the deal, there are other provisions of the agreement relating to pharmaceuticals and intellectual property that should be just as worrying. Now, as President Trump expresses a wish to make prescription medicine more affordable, he would do well to apply the same skepticism he had for trade to the sweetheart deals Big Pharma has traditionally received from government. (Logan Albright, 2/5)
Teva's Dividend Should Follow Its CEO Out
When a CEO abruptly steps down after three years in charge, it's a safe bet the new guy isn't inheriting a corporate bouquet of roses. That's certainly the case at generics giant Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. Erez Vigodman's surprise exit Monday afternoon leaves interim CEO and ex-Chairman Yitzhak Peterburg with a struggling generics business, the likely loss of billions in sales from its best-selling product Copaxone after a court invalidated several patents, and a debt load that exceeds the company's market cap. (Max Nisen, 2/7)