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 Post subject: EpiPen Scandal
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:13 am 
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This is making wild rounds everywhere the past few days..
Many articles including the CEOs salary of this Pharma co

It's total extortion.

I'm sure many of you here have to buy this stuff and it's not always covered

The guy in this article is speaking up on behalf of Big Pharma white collar crime. He's been implicated in price gouging before

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/consume ... es-n634451

This article nails it dead on with price gouging for basic unchanged meds outpacing inflation by margins

Just more of what the Govt and special interest groups have fucked up in this country

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 Post subject: Re: EpiPen Scandal
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:53 pm 
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The “most important factor” that drives prescription drug prices higher in the United States than anywhere else in the world is the existence of government-protected “monopoly” rights for drug manufacturers, researchers at Harvard Medical School report today.

The researchers reviewed thousands of studies published from January 2005 through July 2016 in an attempt to simplify and explain what has caused America’s drug price crisis and how to solve it. They found that the problem has deep and complicated roots and published their findings in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association. The study was funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation with additional support provided by the Engelberg Foundation.

“I continue to be impressed at what a complex and nuanced problem it is and how there are no easy solutions either,” said lead study author Dr. Aaron Kesselheim, a professor who runs the Program on Regulation, Therapeutics and Law at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “As I was writing, the enormity of the problem continued to shine through.”

Five key findings in the JAMA review:

Drug manufacturers in the U.S. set their own prices, and that’s not the norm elsewhere in the world.
Countries with national health programs have government entities that either negotiate drug prices or decide not to cover drugs whose prices they deem excessive. No similar negotiating happens in the U.S.

When a Republican-majority Congress created the Medicare drug benefit in 2003, they barred the program that now covers 40 million Americans from negotiating drug prices. Medicaid, on the other hand, must cover all drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration, regardless of whether a cheaper, equally or more effective drug is available. And private insurers rarely negotiate prices because the third party pharmacy benefits managers that administer prescription drugs, such as Express Scripts and CVS Health, often receive payments from drug companies to shift market share in their favor, according to the study.

We allow “government-protected monopolies” for certain drugs, preventing generics from coming to market to reduce prices.
In an effort to promote innovation, the U.S. has a patent system that allows drug manufacturers to remain the sole manufacturer of drugs they’ve patented for 20 years or more. The FDA also gives drug manufacturers exclusivity for certain products, including those that treat people with rare diseases.

But sometimes, drug companies deploy questionable strategies to maintain their monopolies, the study says. The tactics vary, but they include slightly tweaking the nontherapeutic parts of drugs, such as pill coatings, to game the patent system and paying large “pay for delay” settlements to generics manufacturers who sue them over these patents.

And this is a serious problem, the study concludes, because drug prices decline to 55% of their original brand name cost once there are two generics on the market and to 33% of original cost with five generics.

The FDA takes a long time to approve generic drugs.
Application backlogs at the FDA have led to delays of three or four years before generic manufacturers can win approval to make drugs not protected by patents, the study says.

Sometimes, state laws and other “well-intentioned” federal policies limit generics’ abilities to keep costs down.
Pharmacists in 26 states are required by law to get patient consent before switching to a generic drug, the authors wrote. This reportedly cost Medicaid $19.8 million dollars in 2006 for just one drug: a statin called simvastatin whose brand name is Zocor. Costs ran higher because pharmacists didn’t get patient consent and Medicaid had to pay for the costlier brand name drug even though a cheaper product was available.

Drug prices aren’t really justified by R&D.
Although drug manufacturers often cite research and development costs when defending high prescription prices, the connection isn’t exactly true, Kesselheim and his team found, citing several studies. Most of the time, scientific research that leads to new drugs is funded by the National Institutes of Health via federal grants. If not, it’s often funded by venture capital. For example, sofosbuvir, a drug that treats hepatitis C, was acquired by Gilead after the original research occurred in academic labs.

“Arguments in defense of maintaining high drug prices to protect the strength of the drug industry misstate its vulnerability,” the authors wrote, adding that companies only spend 10% to 20% of their revenue on research and development. “The biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors have for years been among the very best-performing sectors in the U.S. economy.”

Instead, the price tags are based on what the market will bear, they wrote

In general, fixing America’s drug price problems won’t be easy, the study authors concluded. Congressional gridlock and the power of the pharmaceutical lobby make allowing Medicare to negotiate Part D prices an unlikely possibility. And leaving that aside, policymakers must find a way to tighten rules and strengthen oversight surrounding patent protections and exclusivity without chilling innovation, Kesselheim said.

Those not involved in the study said the fact that it was published in JAMA is meaningful because the authors are able to speak directly to doctors.

“I think the most significant thing about this is not necessarily what he’s saying but who he’s saying it to,” said Kenneth Kaitin, who directs the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development. “In part, the concern over rising drug prices is something that physicians have been more aware of lately…They’ve still been for the most part on the sidelines of these issues.”

Kaitin said the exception has been the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the physicians at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, the Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and Training at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said Kesselheim’s study provides a “bird’s eye view” of how the U.S. became an outlier when it comes to drug prices, without getting lost in the weeds.

“It also illustrates that there is not a single policy that is going to address the range of challenges that our health system faces around drug pricing,” Sharfstein said.

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. KHN’s coverage of prescription drug development, costs and pricing is supported in part by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.


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 Post subject: Re: EpiPen Scandal
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:37 pm 
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good stuff, the market isn't going to bear on this one and others i suspect

http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/artic ... rgy-epipen

Too much special interest and coy oversight.

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 Post subject: Re: EpiPen Scandal
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:35 am 
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Congress getting involved now? Wonderful........

I'm not sure Epipens are the appropriate vehicle to ride into this maelstrom, especially if it's you or someone close to you are ever in need of the treatment.

Average American cell phone bill is over 1200$ per year. 600 bucks for 2 Epipens doesn't really strike a chord IMO. If you are using more than that in a calendar year you really need to address your allergy situation, including desensitization.


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 Post subject: Re: EpiPen Scandal
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:29 pm 
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They cost less than $5 to produce. A few years ago they were something like $57 to purchase. So how can they justify an approx. 1,100% increase?

My healthcare premiums have gone up close to 100% since Obamacare went into effect in 2010. Shit like this is why premiums are skyrocketing even though Obama said the average American would save approx. $2,500 a year under the ACA. Uh huh, sure buddy.

Additionally, they have a short shelf life. So they need be replaced often.


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 Post subject: Re: EpiPen Scandal
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:35 pm 
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The response of Mylan is giving out $300 vouchers to those without insurance or high-deductibles.

But if your insurance covers it then carry on and gouge away. Rising premiums be damned.

Isn't that insurance fraud? Giving out vouchers of more than 50% off but charging full price to the carriers?

I know it's standard practice to give a reasonable time of service discount to patients paying out of pocket....ie: 10% because of reduced administrative fees of billing a 3rd party, follow ups, etc. But 50%?!

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 Post subject: Re: EpiPen Scandal
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:50 pm 
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I totally empathize with you on the ACA. Unfortunately, you have first hand experience at just how fucked up these exchange plans are......

But my point on Epipens is that there are far more egregious drugs/therapies to go after. Epipens are beating their competitors and serving a marketplace that this federal government helped create (push for all.public schools to have them & at least 2 other autoinjectors were available but are unpopular with patients due to delivery system and concern over efficacy).

They are good for a year (many years) if stored appropriately. They are no good in hours if not.....


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 Post subject: Re: EpiPen Scandal
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:41 pm 
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superk wrote:

But my point on Epipens is that there are far more egregious drugs/therapies to go after. Epipens are beating their competitors and serving a marketplace that this federal government helped create (push for all.public schools to have them & at least 2 other autoinjectors were available but are unpopular with patients due to delivery system and concern over efficacy).

They are good for a year (many years) if stored appropriately. They are no good in hours if not.....


I call it "Soccer Mom Hysteria". If your average soccer mom hears about it or has a problem with it then you bet the NFL or Congress will do something to placate them for awhile until the storm blows over. In 2 months no one will remember this and Mylan will go back to ridiculous business practices (or the norm if you're in Pharma)


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 Post subject: Re: EpiPen Scandal
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 3:00 pm 
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The current administration is more concerned about sorting out the oh so important issue of where people will go pee pee than they are actually doing something to curb ridiculous price gouging of the people.

The reasons why are evident....


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 Post subject: Re: EpiPen Scandal
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:40 am 
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Just remember this when you hear someone talk about how great and true the free market is. Or how business shouldnt be regulated. Or the beauty of trickle down economics.


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