Perspectives: Savings From Importing Drugs Could Come At Cost Of Americans’ Lives
Read recent commentaries about drug-cost issues.
U.S. News & World Report:
Bernie Sanders' Drug Savings Bill Could Cost American Lives
The Senate is considering a bill that would allow individuals and pharmacies to purchase medicines from Canada. The Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act could save the federal government more than $6 billion over the next decade, according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office. But these savings could come at the cost of Americans' lives. Legalizing drug importation would make it far easier for harmful counterfeit and contaminated medicines to enter the U.S. drug supply. At a time when illegal, counterfeit drugs already cause hundreds of American deaths every year, importation represents a reckless way to cut health care costs. (Kenneth Thorpe, 8/23)
Curbing Prescription Drug Prices Through The PBM Model
Congress and the White House continue to focus on addressing challenges to the U.S. health care system, one of which is the impact of rising prescription drug prices on the financial health of working Americans, state budgets and our economy. Many policymakers are looking for answers, and one such solution is the use of pharmacy benefit managers. This is confirmed by a recent study from the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs and the actuarial firm Oliver Wyman, based on actual Medicare Part D bid information, which finds the current PBM model is already working — and is expected to produce significant cost savings for the Part D program over the next decade. (Meghan Scott, 8/24)
New Drug From Adamas Reformulates A Cheap Generic. Should It Cost $30K?
Adamas Pharmaceuticals (ADMS) had five minutes on Thursday night to feel good about its first U.S. drug approval before sniping over pricing kicked in. The FDA approved the new Adamas product, to be marketed under the brand name Gocovri, to reduce dyskinesia (involuntary movements) experienced by some Parkinson’s disease patients on levodopa therapy. Adamas noted Thursday that Gocovri is the first and only FDA-approved medicine for this indication, but the claim comes with an asterisk. (Adam Feuerstein, 8/25)
Gilead Overspends To Quiet Deal Clamor
There's a price tag on everything, possibly even happiness. For Gilead Sciences Inc. shareholders irate over the company's multi-year case of the deal yips as its growth stagnates, happiness apparently costs about $12 billion. That's what Gilead is paying for Kite Pharma Inc., which is developing a therapy that modifies immune cells to fight blood cancer. Gilead's shares rose more than two percent on the news Monday, as investors cheered the end of its inaction. (Max Nisen, 8/28)
Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Lifesaving 340B Discount Drug Program Under Attack
I met Hope (not her real name) at the MetroHealth Cancer Center a year and a half ago - a happily married young woman who had a great job and was eagerly awaiting to be a firsttime mom. She came to me because there was a black spot on her skin, and it was bleeding every now and then. It was melanoma. And like that, her life changed in the blink of an eye. (Benjamin D. Li, 8/30)
Don't Sacrifice Cures For Drug Price Transparency
Cancer is frightening in the abstract, and even more so when it becomes your reality. Three years ago, I was diagnosed at a relatively young age with late-stage colon cancer and have since gone through extensive treatments. The love of my husband and three children, the dedication of health care professionals who treated me and the support of patient communities such as Colontown have helped me stay strong. (Deborah Goldberg, 8/25)