The Financial Impossibilities Of Making Antibiotics: Why Drugmakers Are Going Bust Even In Era Of Superbugs
Doctors are prescribing the drugs sparingly and patients only need to take them a week or two at a time. In a world where pricey million-dollar cancer drugs are king, drugmakers producing modest antibiotics are crashing just when the country needs them the most. In other pharmaceutical news: pay-to-delay deals, blockbuster treatments and a failed promise.
The Wall Street Journal:
Antibiotic Makers Struggle, Hurting War On Superbugs
The world desperately needs new antibiotics to tackle the rising threat of drug-resistant superbugs, but there is little reward for doing so. Instead, the companies that have stepped up to the challenge are going bust. Makers of newly approved antibiotic drugs are struggling to generate sales because doctors prescribe the treatments sparingly. The new drugs compete with older, cheaper products, and patients typically take them for only a week or two at a time. (Roland, 1/5)
Is Overuse Of Antibiotics On Farms Worsening The Spread Of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria?
Most of us know by now we shouldn't overuse antibiotics so we don't end up with bacterial infections that the drugs can't treat. But it's interesting to know that more than 12 million pounds of medically important antibiotics sold in this country are not for use in humans; they're for livestock. And the antibiotics are driving the spread of drug-resistant bacteria in the animals that can get passed on to us through food if we don't cook and handle it properly. Yet it's almost impossible to get on the farms to conduct inspections and stop infection outbreaks from spreading, even for public health officials. (Stahl, 1/5)
Generic Makers To Appeal Ruling Letting California Ban Pay-To-Delay Deals
A federal judge dealt the pharmaceutical industry a setback by declining to block a new California law that bans so-called pay-to-delay deals between drug makers, prompting an industry trade group to pursue an appeal with a higher court. The move comes after the Association for Accessible Medicines filed a lawsuit two months ago to thwart the state law, which was the first in the nation to outlaw pay-to-delay deals. California officials explained the step was necessary in order to prevent drug companies from thwarting competition and maintaining higher prices for medicines. (Silverman, 1/3)
Two Blockbuster Cancer Drugs See New Year Price Hikes
Drugmakers raised prices on more than 400 drugs in the early days of 2020, including two blockbuster cancer treatments that have been top-expenditure drugs in Medicare Part B, according to healthcare analysts and CMS data. The CMS attributed an increase in Part B premiums and deductibles in 2020 to increased spending on physician-administered drugs. Part B premiums and deductibles both rose 7% compared with 2019 levels. (Cohrs, 1/3)
Trump Touted A New Antidepressant As A Solution For Veterans. Only 15 Have Been Treated
In August, President Trump proudly proclaimed that he had directed the Department of Veterans Affairs to buy “a lot” of a drug known as esketamine, the first new major depression treatment with a novel mechanism to hit the U.S. market in decades. ... As of mid-December, the VA had treated just 15 veterans across the country with the drug. The nasal spray, which was developed by Janssen and named Spravato, was only available at seven of the agency’s facilities — out of more than 1,200. The VA treated its first patient with Spravato in June. (Thielking, 1/6)