Perspectives: The Drug Industry Is Still Getting Away With Murder, Now It’s Just With The President’s Help
Read recent commentaries about drug-cost issues.
The New York Times:
The News On Drug Prices? Nothing Good
It has been two months since the president released his road map for lowering drug costs that seems to lead nowhere, and about a month since he predicted the “big drug companies” would announce “voluntary massive” price cuts. Here’s where things stand: A congressional investigation has found that the drug company Novartis got more out of its $1.2 million payment to Mr. Trump’s “personal attorney” Michael Cohen than had been known. Meanwhile, several other drugmakers defied Mr. Trump’s lofty prediction by raising their prices substantially, while his administration shot down a proposal that would have helped individual states lower their drug costs. (7/17)
Hospitals Can Save Money On Drugs Without Washington's Help
Hospitals could make great strides in reducing the cost of delivering health care — particularly when it comes to drug costs — through a tight focus on their processes, especially the instructions that are often detailed in electronic health record systems. At many hospitals, drug costs are an expense second only to salaries. A 2016 survey of 712 hospitals by the American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals showed that inpatient drug spending rose 23 percent a year between 2013 and 2015, and by 39 percent on a per-admission basis. (7/16)
Big Pharma’s Metabolism Is Slowing Down
The biggest players in pharma and biotech firms are in a rut, and even a heroic earnings season might not be enough to lift it out. The broader environment is positive: The Trump administration’s drug-pricing push is for now more sound than fury, the economy is humming, and new treatments are being approved at a rapid clip. And of course there are the benefits still accruing from the recent tax legislation. But pharmaceutical stocks from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co to Novartis AG are lagging behind the market, and a turnaround may not be forthcoming. It’s getting tougher to find blockbusters, which may make it difficult to deliver the returns investors are accustomed to, even if the latest crop of earnings come in strong. (Max Nisen, 7/16)
The Bakersfield Californian:
How Trump Can Lower Drug Prices
One of Donald Trump's more memorable promises on the campaign trail was to lower the cost of prescription drugs. Polls show this issue remains popular with Americans, especially lower-income families, who are worried about high drug prices. Of course, the entire concept of drug prices' being "too high" is subjective. Drugs are too expensive ... compared with what? Certainly not compared with not having the drugs available at all. If you suffer from the intense pain of migraine headaches or have been diagnosed with lung cancer, how much would you pay for a drug to help you? I have friends who have children who are afflicted with epilepsy or rare and fatal blood diseases, and they say they would literally give up everything they have for treatments to cure their children. (Stephen Moore, 7/16)
4 Regulations That Would Terrify U.S. Drug Companies Ahead Of The 2018 Midterms
If you’re a powerful American drug company, then you’ve had a strange couple of months. In that time, you’ve experienced a rainbow of emotions: fear, relief and, now, confusion and anxiety. The roller-coaster ride, as you recall, began in mid-May when President Trump stood alongside HHS Secretary Alex M. Azar, in the Rose Garden of the White House, in front of a sign reading “Lower Drug Prices for Americans.” (Robert Pearl, 7/16)
Why Are Drug Prices So High? Blame Big Money In Politics.
Champagne corks were popping on Wall Street on May 11. President Trump had just delivered his “American Patients First” speech to address the soaring cost of prescription drugs. Investors in the pharmaceutical sector had reason to celebrate there were few teeth in the president’s new policy, and the ones that were there had unspecified timelines. At the closing bell that day, the pharmaceutical sector had surged 2.7 percent on the S&P 500. (Judith Butler, 7/17)