Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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Azar Approved by Senate Finance Committee and on His Way to Being Confirmed as New Head of HHS in the Senate

Azar Approved by Senate Finance Committee and on His Way to Being Confirmed as New Head of HHS in the Senate | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

The Senate Finance Committee voted Wednesday to advance President Trump’s nominee to serve as head of Health and Human Services. The vote was 15-12, with Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware the only Democrat to support him.

 

Azar now faces a Senate floor vote, where he is expected to be confirmed.

 

Two Democrats, Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, have said they would vote for Azar's nomination, giving Republicans more than enough votes to pass him. Republicans have a 51-49 majority in the Senate, and Cabinet nominees need only 51 votes to be confirmed.

 

Heitkamp called Azar, a former Eli Lilly executive and HHS veteran under the George W. Bush administration, “incredibly competent.”

 

Still, some Democrats have railed against Azar, and have said that he raised the prices of multiple drugs while he was the head of Eli Lilly’s U.S. division from 2012 to 2017. Democrats are skeptical that Azar will do enough to rein in drug prices.

 

Azar has said that the system does not incentivize drug makers to lower prices. He said that combating high prices will be one of his top priorities.

 

Further Reading:

  • “Public Citizen: Azar Would Be Detrimental to Americans’ Access to Health Care”; http://sco.lt/8kYVzl
  • “If Alex Azar Is Confirmed as HHS Secretary, the Big Pharma/Gov’t Swamp Will Get Worse”; http://sco.lt/67pLZR
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Public Citizen: Azar Would Be Detrimental to Americans’ Access to Health Care

Public Citizen: Azar Would Be Detrimental to Americans’ Access to Health Care | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Saying that it would be detrimental to Americans for Alex Azar to be secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), more than 60 organizations today urged senators not to confirm him.

In a letter, the groups – representing patients, health care providers, public health experts, women, people of color, workers, consumers and people of faith – said they are deeply concerned by statements made by Azar as well as his record at the pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly and Company.

“We believe that elevating Mr. Azar to Secretary of HHS would be detrimental to Americans’ access to quality, affordable health care across the country,” the letter said.

The groups oppose Azar because:

• He has denounced the Affordable Care Act (ACA) even though it expanded health insurance coverage and access to health care services for millions of Americans.
• Azar has spoken in favor of converting Medicaid funding into block grants, which would end guaranteed coverage and cap federal funding of program costs without regard for program needs, thereby threatening the services on which millions of Americans depend.
• Azar has said that he does not believe the expansion of Medicaid under the ACA has been successful. However, the evidence shows the contrary; states that expanded their Medicaid programs under the ACA have experienced large reductions in uninsured rates and have seen reduced disparities in coverage by income, age and race/ethnicity.
• Azar will not commit to supporting mandatory no-cost-sharing contraceptive coverage by insurers. Access to contraception without charge ensures that costs do not prevent access to important preventative care, reducing unintended pregnancies that can lead to adverse maternal and child health outcomes.
• Azar’s record at Eli Lilly raises doubts about his willingness and ability to serve the needs of U.S. patients and consumers. While Azar was president of Lilly USA, Eli Lilly’s U.S. affiliate, its insulin skyrocketed from $74 to $269. As a result, patients have skipped refills, injected expired insulin and starved themselves in ineffective attempts to control blood sugar levels.
• Eli Lilly is facing multiple class-action lawsuits alleging violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and numerous state fraud, unfair trade practices and consumer protection laws related to the company raising insulin prices in lockstep with Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. Eli Lilly is also facing a suit brought by the federal government and 31 states alleging False Claims Act violations involving a scheme to boost insulin sales, as well as investigations by at least five state attorneys general.

“At a time when our country is facing a crisis of access to affordable medicines, we need an untainted and credible advocate for patients and our health care system,” the groups wrote. “A former prescription drug company executive with a history of spiking the prices of lifesaving medicines simply is unqualified to address the needs of our national health care system. … the health care of all Americans requires a [S]ecretary of HHS who puts the public above profits and who champions evidence-based approaches over ideology.”

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PinUp: Welcome to 2018 - Less Health Insurance, Shorter Lifespan, and Limper Sex Life

PinUp: Welcome to 2018 - Less Health Insurance, Shorter Lifespan, and Limper Sex Life | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Welcome to the January 5, 2018, issue of Pharma Industry News Update (aka PinUp).

 

**********ARTICLES***********

  • Pfizer Raises Wholesale Price of 148 Drugs, Including Viagra

  • Azar Would Be Detrimental to Americans’ Access to Health Care

  • Drop in life expectancy an "indictment of the American health care system"

 

Access this issue here.

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If Alex Azar Is Confirmed as HHS Secretary, the Big Pharma/Gov’t Swamp Will Get Worse

If Alex Azar Is Confirmed as HHS Secretary, the Big Pharma/Gov’t Swamp Will Get Worse | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

If Alex Azar Is Confirmed as HHS Secretary, Big Pharma’s Coup of Health Care Sphere Will Be Virtually Complete

Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen

Note: Media reports indicate that President Donald Trump is likely to nominate Alex Azar, who served for five years as president of Lilly USA, LLC, the largest affiliate of global biopharmaceutical leader Eli Lilly and Company, to be the next U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Just days after denouncing “out-of-control” drug prices, President Donald Trump appears set to show he doesn’t mean it by naming a former pharmaceutical company executive to run the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. If Alex Azar is nominated and his nomination confirmed, then Big Pharma’s coup d’etat in the health care sphere will be virtually complete.

In his public statements, Alex Azar has made clear that he is opposed to measures to restrain drug company profiteering and limit improper marketing and favors weaker drug safety approval standards.

Americans understand, passionately, that drug company price gouging leads to rationing of care. It is unethical and must end. Even President Trump says so. But it is highly unlikely that a pharmaceutical company executive who has made passionate arguments against price restraints is going to advance real reform. Much more likely is that he serves as the instrument by which Big Pharma aims to defend its monopolies and unaffordable prices.

The swamp only gets worse. Tom Price supported Big Pharma in the U.S. Congress. Now apparently Trump has decided to cut out the middleman, and let a pharmaceutical executive literally run the health department.

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K.I.R.M. God is Business " From Day One"'s curator insight, December 12, 2017 4:05 AM

How will the Health Care cuts effect the world of pharmacy drugs? Will the Drug Dealers become the new day pharmacist using their connections to keep the sick, poor and needy for medication to stay alive but without insurance assistance they can't afford. Yes they are smart beyond what some may look and think but consider who they are getting theirs from. Its going to be a new day in the drug industry because people are not going to see their own die when they can help their people out in a its about staying alive thing made personal, NOW! Will the Dug Dealers become new day Pharmacist that help keep their people alive by providing medications needed to stay alive because of health care assistance terminated therefore so is lives?