Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
185.9K views | +6 today
Follow
Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
Curated by Pharma Guy
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Pharma Guy
Scoop.it!

OIG Identifies Docs Who Over-Prescribe Opioids to Retirees (Medicade Part D Recipients)

OIG Identifies Docs Who Over-Prescribe Opioids to Retirees (Medicade Part D Recipients) | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

In the latest bid to stem the opioid epidemic, investigators at the Department of Health and Human Services have identified excessive prescribing patterns in Medicare Part D involving hundreds of doctors and plan to work with law enforcement authorities to curtail the practice.

 

In a new report, the HHS Office of Inspector General found that 401 prescribers last year wrote more than 256,200 prescriptions for nearly 90,000 Part D beneficiaries who were deemed to be at serious risk because they received “extreme” amounts of opioids or appeared to be doctor shopping.

 

The prescribing patterns not only suggest these prescribers are contributing to the opioid epidemic, which was blamed for 33,000 deaths in 2015, but is also costing taxpayers significant sums.

 

To wit, 1 of every 3 Part D beneficiaries received a prescription for an opioid — or 14.4 million out of 43.6 million enrollees — for which the plan paid almost $4.1 billion in 2016. About 80 percent of the prescriptions were for Schedule II or Schedule III controlled substances, such as Vicodin and Percocet, which have a high risk of abuse.

 

In one instance, a Florida physician wrote prescriptions for just one Part D beneficiary in one day for three different opioids: oxycodone and two forms of fentanyl. In all, this doctor prescribed opioids for 125 people who received “extreme” amounts, and Medicare shelled out $1.6 million.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy
Scoop.it!

Lilly CEO David Ricks Likes Medicare Just the Way It Is: A “Good Model Going Forward”

Lilly CEO David Ricks Likes Medicare Just the Way It Is: A “Good Model Going Forward” | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Eli Lilly's growth is not fueled by increasing drug costs, CEO David Ricks told CNBC on Wednesday, a day after he and other Big Pharma leaders met with President Donald Trump at the White House.

 

Appearing on "Squawk Box," Ricks defended Lilly against charges that drugmakers actively try to inflate costs for profit, using the firm's earnings, released on Tuesday, to support his position.

 

"Price played a 1 percent role in pharmaceutical growth that was 9 percent," said Ricks, who became CEO last month. "Pricing gets a lot of press, but it's actually not playing a key role in our return to growth."

 

Trump told the drugmakers he wants to make it easier for pharmaceutical companies to win regulatory approval for their products. As he's done with other industry leaders, he also called on the CEOs to bring manufacturing back to America (read “Big Pharma (@PhRMA) Stands Behind Trump Even As He Vows to Lower Prices to Medicare”; http://sco.lt/5461NB).

 

On the topic of lowering drug prices, Ricks said Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage for seniors should be a model.

 

"They are fiercely interested in negotiating down drug prices, but also concerned about keeping customers and having choice," he said. "We think that balance is just about right, and that that piece of government legislation ... is really the model going forward."

Pharma Guy's insight:

Meanwhile... The rising price of insulin has found its way to a federal court, where several consumers are accusing the three biggest manufacturers — Sanofi, Eli Lilly, and Novo Nordisk — of running a coordinated scheme that has caused patients economic harm (read “Major #Pharma Companies Sued for Colluding to Raise Insulin Prices”; http://sco.lt/5NB2y9).

 

. Further Reading: “Did Big Pharma Just Convince Trump to Abandon His Push to Let Medicare Negotiate Drug Prices?”; http://sco.lt/8CcWbB

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy
Scoop.it!

Did Big Pharma Just Convince Trump to Abandon His Push to Let Medicare Negotiate Drug Prices?

Did Big Pharma Just Convince Trump to Abandon His Push to Let Medicare Negotiate Drug Prices? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Today, after a meeting with pharmaceutical industry lobbyists and executives, he abandoned that pledge, referring to an idea he supported as recently as three weeks ago as a form of “price fixing” that would hurt “smaller, younger companies.” Instead of getting tough, Trump’s new plan is that he’s “going to be lowering taxes” and “getting rid of regulations.”

 

New drugs are generally covered by patent monopolies, so drug companies have a lot of pricing power; other companies can’t produce the same drug without paying royalties, so there’s little competition. But most countries use their nationalized health care systems to negotiate a good deal on drug prices. Manufacturing pills is cheap, so it’s usually still profitable for a company to sell medicine at a pretty steep discount.

 

The United States doesn’t have a nationalized health care system, but we do have Medicare for senior citizens, and since the USA is a very large country, that’s still a huge potential bulk purchaser. But a 2003 law written by congressional Republicans and signed by George W. Bush prohibits the federal government from using that negotiating power.

 

As recently as January 11, President-elect Trump was promising to revisit this policy.

 

“Pharma has a lot of lobbies, a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power. And there’s very little bidding on drugs,” he said at a press conference at Trump Tower in Manhattan. “We’re the largest buyer of drugs in the world, and yet we don’t bid properly.”

 

Today he apparently changed his mind. According to Herb Jackson, the designated pool reporter for the day, Trump’s new policy on prescription drugs is that drug companies should get tax cuts and deregulation (emphasis added):

 

I'll oppose anything that makes it harder for smaller, younger companies to take the risk of bringing their product to a vibrantly competitive market. That includes price-fixing by the biggest dog in the market, Medicare, which is what's happening. But we can increase competition and bidding wars, big time.

 

So what I want, we have to get lower prices, we have to get even better innovation and I want you to move your companies back into the United States. And I want you to manufacture in the United States. We're going to be lowering taxes, we're going to be getting rid of regulations that are unnecessary.

Pharma Guy's insight:

But read “Big Pharma (@PhRMA) Stands Behind Trump Even As He Vows to Lower Prices to Medicare”; http://sco.lt/5461NB 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy
Scoop.it!

AARP to Trump: Don’t Mess with Medicare & Let Us Import Lower Price Drugs

AARP to Trump: Don’t Mess with Medicare & Let Us Import Lower Price Drugs | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

In a letter to President-elect Donald J. Trump, AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins outlined AARP’s priorities for Americans 50 and older, calling for protection of Medicare and Social Security as well as access to affordable health care and prescription drugs.

 

“Throughout the [election] campaign, your statements on these important issues of health and financial security set you apart from many other candidates,” Jenkins told Trump in a letter released Tuesday. “Now, as you assume office, older Americans are looking to you to protect them from efforts to cut their benefits, increase their costs or otherwise harm the crucial programs they rely on.”

 

AARP members believe Medicare and Social Security should be strengthened for future generations, Jenkins wrote. “Unfortunately, some congressional leaders have discussed plans to fundamentally change the Medicare program and undermine the contract made with generations of Americans,” she wrote.

 

The letter cites congressional proposals to fundamentally change Medicare by creating a defined-contribution “premium-support” system, which would give recipients a fixed amount, in the form of vouchers, to buy private health insurance. Other proposals would raise the age of eligibility for Medicare from 65 to 67 and allow hospitals and providers to charge higher prices than Medicare.

 

“These proposals do little to actually lower the cost of health care,” Jenkins wrote. “They simply shift costs from Medicare onto individuals — many of whom cannot afford to pay more for their health care.”

 

To confront continued huge price spikes for prescription drugs, AARP backs proposals to give the secretary of Health and Human Services the authority to negotiate lower prices on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries. “In addition, we agree with you that we should reduce barriers to better pricing competition worldwide by allowing for the safe importation of lower priced drugs,” Jenkins told Trump.

 

Further Reading:

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy
Scoop.it!

I'm NOT With Trump Against Big #Pharma, Says @John_LaMattina @Forbes

I'm NOT With Trump Against Big #Pharma, Says @John_LaMattina @Forbes | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

In a recent guest piece on STAT [read “One Physician Says Donald Trump Is Right About #Pharma”; http://sco.lt/6xx1mb], Dr. Charles D. Rosen enthusiastically supports Mr. Trump’s negative views on the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Rosen, a clinical professor of orthopaedic surgery at UC Irvine, believes that the Republican presidential nominee is correct on some key issues including:

 

1) allowing Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies;

 

2) allowing cheaper pharmaceutical drugs manufactured abroad to be sold in the U.S.

 

Both points are worthy of debate. Unfortunately, rather than provide thoughtful commentary, Dr. Rosen (who is also the president of the Association of Medical Ethics) goes into a variety of rants to support his views. For example, on Medicare drug price negotiations, a position that the Democratic candidate, Sec. Hillary Clinton also supports, rather than acknowledging the bipartisan backing of such a proposal, Dr. Rosen trashes Clinton’s credibility on following through with her publicly stated stance.

 

“Hillary Clinton, on the other hand accepted more cash from pharmaceutical companies in the first six months of her campaign than any other candidate in either party. This lessens the potency of her claims to take similar action and suggests yet again disingenuous declarations. If she claims to be such an enemy of Big Pharma, why then are they contributing to her campaign?………Unlike Hillary Clinton, whose campaign coffer is loaded with contributions from drug companies, Trump has barely dipped into that pot of besmirched gold. Yes, Trump is defying Republican dogma, but he’s honestly and forthrightly calling Big Pharma on its Big Baloney.”

 

Personally, given the outrage over drug prices and the growing calls for controlling Medicare costs, I would not be surprised to see legislation enacted in the next four years giving Medicare the ability to negotiate drug prices regardless of who is elected the 45th U.S. president. In fact, if anything the group NOT likely to support such legislation would be Republicans and not Democrats. Yet, rather than discuss the precedent for government drug price negotiations, as already happens with the Veterans Administration, Dr. Rosen chooses to delve into a Trump-like anti-Clinton attack. Sad.

 

The same can be said for Dr. Rosen’s views on drug importation. This is a great topic for discussion. Unfortunately, Dr. Rosen goes into another attack.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy
Scoop.it!

10 Essential Facts About Medicare and Prescription Drug Spending

10 Essential Facts About Medicare and Prescription Drug Spending | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Prescription drugs play an important role in medical care for 57 million seniors and people with disabilities, and account for $1 out of every $6 in Medicare spending. The majority of Medicare prescription drug spending is for drugs covered under the Part D prescription drug benefit, administered by private stand-alone drug plans and Medicare Advantage drug plans. Medicare Part B also covers drugs that are administered to patients in physician offices and other outpatient settings.

After a period of relatively slow growth, total and per capita Part D spending has increased more rapidly in the past few years mainly due to treatments for Hepatitis C, and is projected to increase more rapidly in the next decade as more high-priced specialty drugs become available, according to the recently-released annual report of the Medicare Boards of Trustees.

Even with Medicare’s prescription drug coverage, beneficiaries can face substantial out-of-pocket costs, particularly if they use specialty drugs or multiple high-cost brand-name drugs. The following series of graphics examines trends in Medicare spending on prescription drugs, how Medicare coverage affects beneficiary access and costs, and what the public thinks about different options for keeping drug costs down.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy
Scoop.it!

Kaiser Poll: 63% Positive About "Medicare-for-All" vs 44% for "Single Payer"

Kaiser Poll: 63% Positive About "Medicare-for-All" vs 44% for "Single Payer" | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it
The February Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds Americans are divided on possible changes to the current health care system with 36 percent of Americans saying policymakers should build on the existing law to improve affordability and access to care, 16 percent saying they would like to see the health care law repealed and not replaced, 13 percent saying the current law should be repealed and replaced with a Republican-sponsored alternative, and 24 percent saying the U.S. should establish guaranteed universal coverage through a single government plan. When asked specifically about universal coverage through a single government plan, half say they favor the idea while 43 percent say they oppose it, and some opinions swayed after hearing counterarguments. Opinions also differ depending on the terms used to describe the idea of expanding health insurance coverage to all Americans. This month’s poll also examine awareness and attitudes of the top health policy news stories- the unsafe lead levels in Flint Michigan’s water and the Zika virus outbreak.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy
Scoop.it!

Obama Wants #Pharma to Open Its Books to Justify High Drug Prices

Obama Wants #Pharma to Open Its Books to Justify High Drug Prices | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it
Lawmakers are pressuring the drug industry to reveal how much it spends to develop, manufacture, and market new medicines.


For years, drug makers have argued that the rising prices of prescription medicines reflect, in part, the rising costs of discovery and development. Now, President Obama wants to peek behind the pharmaceutical curtain to see for himself.


Buried inside the White House budget proposal released last week is language (on page 62) that would require drug makers to publicly disclose various data, including research and development costs. The administration hopes to use the information as part of a plan to negotiate lower prices for the Medicare drug program, known as Part D.


In doing so, Obama joins a growing list of lawmakers seeking transparency in order to understand drug pricing.


Since the pharmaceutical industry conceded that data are available under the Sunshine Act, “they can hardly claim that these R&D bills aren’t fair political game,” said Scott Gottlieb, a former Food and Drug Administration official who is now a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.


In effect, the call for cost transparency amounts to a “show me” moment for the pharmaceutical industry.


Drug makers can’t have it both ways. If costs really can be justified, then expenses should be disclosed. If not, then the industry will have to come up with another explanation for its approach to pricing — and that explanation will have to be transparent.


more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy
Scoop.it!

Medicare Part D Spending on Drugs is Like "Pouring Money Down the Drain"

Medicare Part D Spending on Drugs is Like "Pouring Money Down the Drain" | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Because of congressional restrictions on the government’s ability to negotiate with the pharmaceutical industry, Medicare Part D drug prices are significantly higher than those in either Medicaid or the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and 30 other countries, a study by Carleton University and Public Citizen finds.


In fact, 27 of the non-U.S. OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries were able to purchase the medications studied from manufacturers at less than 50 percent of the purchase price in the U.S.


In a letter sent to Congress today, the authors call for a House-Senate committee to be formed to draft legislation that would lower Medicare Part D prices to those of Medicaid or the VHA. Doing so could save Medicare Part D between $15.2 billion and $16 billion a year and reduce the number of people who don’t fill their prescriptions for financial reasons.


The study, which was partially based on previously unpublished data, compared prices paid to manufacturers for a standardized group of brand-name medications in the 31 OECD countries, including the U.S. The study was conducted by Marc-Andre Gagnon, an associate professor at the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University in Ottawa, and Dr. Sidney Wolfe, co-founder and senior adviser of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group.


Gagnon said he was surprised at the results. “We thought that brand-name medicines were a little bit more expensive for Part D, but we never thought that it would be twice as much as in other developed countries,” he said. “It is like pouring money down the drain.” 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy
Scoop.it!

Big Cancer Center Docs Call for New Legislation to Lower Cancer Drug Costs

Big Cancer Center Docs Call for New Legislation to Lower Cancer Drug Costs | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it
In an article published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, oncologists make recommendations on how to curb the rapidly escalating costs of cancer drugs in the US.


"One of the facts that people do not realize is that cancer drugs for the most part are not operating under a free market economy," says Dr. S. Vincent Rajkumar, of Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Rochester, MN. "The fact that there are five approved drugs to treat an incurable cancer does not mean there is competition. Typically, the standard of care is that each drug is used sequentially or in combination, so that each new drug represents a monopoly with exclusivity granted by patent protection for many years."


Legislation that prevents Medicare from negotiating drug prices is a factor involved in driving up the costs of cancer drugs, and the authors suggest that this legislation should be redrafted to allow price negotiation.


The oncologists also cite a lack of value-based pricing - where the cost of a drug is linked with its relative effectiveness compared with other drugs - as another driving factor. Allowing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to recommend target prices based on a drug's magnitude of benefit could help to remedy this, the authors say, in addition to implementing guidelines that incorporate the cost and benefit of cancer drugs.


more...
Rina Evans's curator insight, March 22, 2015 10:48 AM

"Cancer Specialists in this field of medical practice are concerned by the prices of the antidote that are being prescribed to patients battling with the Big C. An appeal to law makers should be addressed as this rampant disease can only be subsided by the drugs that are available but are becoming impossible to afford. These patients are already fighting hard for their lives that their right to live or the chance to extend their years relies on a much complicated way for the government and Medicare to further take action with the cost of these medicines. It is appalling that businesses thrive by selling these expensive drugs while people had to face adversities just to be able to afford them.” --- rjevans

 

Scooped by Pharma Guy
Scoop.it!

Sovaldi Alone Could Raise Medicare Costs 8% - Higher Than Any Increase Since 2008, Senate Finance Committee Says

Sovaldi Alone Could Raise Medicare Costs 8% - Higher Than Any Increase Since 2008, Senate Finance Committee Says | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Add a new set of pricing foes for Gilead Sciences ($GILD). A U.S. Senate committee has joined the forces arrayed against the company's breakthrough hepatitis C drug Sovaldi and its $84,000 price tag.


But this time, Gilead's adversaries are using different ammo. Rather than focusing on the sheer expense of treating millions of Americans with the pricey drug, the senators are digging into the acquisition that brought Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) to Gilead. And they're questioning treatment protocols quickly revised to include Sovaldi, approved by the FDA late last year.


As The Wall Street Journal reports, the Senate Finance Committee dispatched a letter to CEO John Martin on Friday, taking issue with Sovaldi's $1,000-per-pill price. Like other critics of the expensive drug, Sen. Charles Grassley, long a thorn in pharma's side, and panel chairman Sen. Ron Wyden demanded justification for its steep price. Treating only one-tenth of Medicare's hep C patients would add $2 billion to its immediate drug spending, the senators noted in their letter.


But the committee also asked for documents related to Gilead's $11 billion buyout of Pharmasset, Sovaldi's original developer. The smaller company had forecast a $36,000 price per treatment course, less than half of Gilead's current price. The senators asked to see Gilead's communications with its investment bankers, Barclays and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, about their valuation of Pharmasset during merger talks and the related pricing assumptions for Sovaldi. They also want to know how much Pharmasset spent on R&D while developing the treatment.

Pharma Guy's insight:


The resemblance between Gilead CEO, John Martin, and Mad Magazine's Alfred E. Neuman, is uncanny, don't you think?


Note: If you read the Finance Committee letter (PDF), you will see the source of my 8% Medicare increase estimate.


Also, see my analysis here: 

Sovaldi - A Cure for the One to Ten Percenters
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy
Scoop.it!

High-Priced Drugs Raise Costs for Seniors in Medicare Part D

High-Priced Drugs Raise Costs for Seniors in Medicare Part D | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

An analysis of government data by The Wall Street Journal found expensive medicines are increasingly denting the pocketbooks of seniors and other beneficiaries in Medicare’s prescription-drug program, known as Part D, despite federal legislation meant to reduce out-of-pocket costs and drugmakers’ increasing discounts.

 

The median out-of-pocket cost for a drug purchased through Part D was $117 in 2015, up nearly half from $79 in 2011, in inflation-adjusted dollars, the Journal’s analysis found. The analysis excluded low-income patients whose copays are paid primarily by the government.

 

Some 220 Part D drugs had annual out-of-pocket costs of $1,000 or more in 2015, up 86% from 118 drugs in 2011.

 

Factors driving the trend include sharply rising drug prices, which grew by an average 14% a year from 2011 to 2015, and the introduction of new medicines with prices that commonly exceed $50,000 annually, according to the Journal’s analysis. In addition, the complicated design of Part D requires patients to pay a percentage of their drugs’ total retail price, a particular burden for those who use expensive medicines.

 

Medicare patients taking high-price drugs don’t benefit directly from the rebates that pharmaceutical companies often give to insurers. Instead, patients pay a portion of the drug’s sticker price at the pharmacy, “without regard to rebates and other price concessions,” CMS said in January. Rebates and discounts totaled $23.63 billion, or 17.2% of gross drug costs, in 2015, up from $9.76 billion and 11.5% of gross costs in 2011, according to CMS.

 

“There are a lot of patients who aren’t able to afford prescription drugs in Medicare,” says Tim Gronniger, who oversaw drug-spending issues as deputy chief of staff at CMS until he left this past January. “That’s a big problem, and it’s gotten worse over the last couple of years,” he says.

 

Instead of using rebates to reduce patients’ cost-sharing on expensive drugs, insurers use them to reduce monthly premiums for all beneficiaries, according to CMS and health insurers.

 

Further Reading:

  • “Lilly CEO David Ricks Likes Medicare Just the Way It Is: A ‘Good Model Going Forward’”: http://sco.lt/5wO677
  • “Did Big Pharma Just Convince Trump to Abandon His Push to Let Medicare Negotiate Drug Prices?”; http://sco.lt/8CcWbB
  • “10 Essential Facts About Medicare and Prescription Drug Spending”; http://sco.lt/8vUQ7d
  • “Medicare Part D Spending on Drugs is Like ‘Pouring Money Down the Drain’"; http://sco.lt/7igOmn
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy
Scoop.it!

Big Pharma (@PhRMA) Stands Behind Trump Even As He Vows to Lower Prices to Medicare

Big Pharma (@PhRMA) Stands Behind Trump Even As He Vows to Lower Prices to Medicare | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

President Trump promised some of the nation’s top drug company executives in a meeting at the White House on Tuesday that he would slash regulations at the Food and Drug Administration and make it easier for them to manufacture products in the United States.

 

He also described as “fantastic” the person he planned to nominate for commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, someone he said would streamline the agency and get drug approval decisions faster.

 

“You can’t get approval for the plant, and you can’t get approval for the drug; other than that, you’re doing fantastic,” Mr. Trump said at the meeting, to laughter from top executives of companies like Merck, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly and Novartis.

 

But even as he struck a cordial tone with them, he said that lowering drug costs would remain a focus and that he would discuss the issue further during the nonpublic portion of the meeting, away from the news media. “The U.S. drug companies have produced extraordinary results for our country, but the pricing has been astronomical,” Mr. Trump said. “We have to get prices down for a lot of reasons.”

 

Battered by public outrage over the rising costs of drugs in recent years, the drug industry has regarded Mr. Trump warily in recent weeks. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology stocks rallied after his election as investors bet that Mr. Trump would reduce corporate taxes and adopt more industry-friendly policies than his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, who had made reducing drug prices a campaign issue.

 

But that optimism gave way to unease after Mr. Trump pledged to tackle the drug pricing issue himself, including raising the possibility of allowing Medicare to negotiate the prices of drugs directly, something the industry has long opposed.

 

Just a few weeks ago, Mr. Trump singled out the pharmaceutical industry for its high prices, accusing it of “getting away with murder.”

 

At the meeting Tuesday, Mr. Trump again referred to Medicare’s role, saying he would oppose anything that prevented competition, including “price fixing by the biggest dog in the market, Medicare, which is what’s happening.”

 

A White House spokesman later clarified that his remarks meant that the president “supports increasing bidding and competition for all drugs in Medicare.”

 

[Some other news sources think otherwise. Read, for example, “Did Big Pharma Just Convince Trump to Abandon His Push to Let Medicare Negotiate Drug Prices?”; http://sco.lt/8CcWbB]

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy
Scoop.it!

Sanders to Challenge Trump to Support Allowing Medicare to Negotiate Drug Prices

Sanders to Challenge Trump to Support Allowing Medicare to Negotiate Drug Prices | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Tuesday said he will introduce legislation allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices and called on President-elect Donald Trump to support the proposal.

 

"If Mr. Trump is serious about taking on Pharma, if Mr. Trump is serious about having Medicare ... negotiate prescription drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry, we are going to have very shortly very significant legislation to do just that," Sanders told reporters.

 

"I would hope that Mr. Trump would join us and support that legislation."

 

Trump indicated throughout the campaign that he would support allowing the government to negotiate drug prices and said last week that the pharmaceutical industry is "getting away with murder" because of what it charges the government.

 

Sanders did not say when he would be introducing his legislation, which is also expected to allow for importing drugs from Canada and other countries.

 

Further Reading:

  • “Cory Booker and 12 Other Dems Just Stopped Bernie Sanders’ Amendment to Lower Prescription Drug Costs”; http://sco.lt/6FEFw9
Pharma Guy's insight:

Feel the Bern!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy
Scoop.it!

Majority of Patients’ Groups Siding With Pharma Against Medicare Part B Pricing Reforms Receive Industry Funding

Of the 147 Patients’ Groups That Co-Signed Industry Opposition Letters to Congress and CMS, at Least Three in Four Get Funding From Big Pharma

The overwhelming majority of patients’ groups opposing a Medicare Part B proposal to reduce drug expenditures got funding from the pharmaceutical industry, according to a new Public Citizen report.

The report, “Patients’ Groups and Big Pharma,” examined industry funding for 147 patients’ groups publicly opposing the Medicare Part B proposal, documenting disclosures of funding and sponsorships from the drug and medical device industry to 110 of those groups (75 percent of the total).

The patients’ groups voiced their opposition to the Medicare Part B reforms by signing either a letter to congressional leadership (organized by the Community Oncology Alliance) or a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (organized by the Partnership to Improve Patient Care). An additional 241 groups, mostly associated with doctors or the pharmaceutical industry – both of which have a financial incentive for opposing the reforms – also signed letters.

Because the report’s findings are based on voluntary disclosures that patients’ groups and pharmaceutical companies provide, they likely underrepresent the proportion of patients’ groups receiving pharmaceutical industry sponsorship. Total amounts of how much the groups receive from the industry are mostly unknown.

The Medicare Part B demonstration project, which Public Citizen supports along with numerous allied consumer and health groups, aims to remove incentives for needlessly prescribing high-priced medicines when equally effective and affordable alternatives are available.

These findings come on the heels of a recent Public Citizen report revealing that members of the U.S. House of Representatives who oppose the reform received 82 percent more in campaign contributions from pharma than members who are not opposed.

“While it is certainly not the case that every patient group that takes industry money is a Big Pharma puppet, the fact that three-quarters of the patients’ groups opposing these reforms receive industry money should make policymakers skeptical of these groups’ independence,” said Rick Claypool, a Public Citizen research director and author of the report.

Pharma Guy's insight:

I think 3/4 of all patient groups receive funding from pharma - even those groups that might be in favor of Medicare pricing reform. This analysis does not take that into account. :)

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy
Scoop.it!

One Physician Says Donald Trump Is Right About #Pharma

One Physician Says Donald Trump Is Right About #Pharma | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

With Donald Trump finally ensconced as the Republican nominee for president, it’s high time to applaud his spot-on positions on the pharmaceutical industry.

 

As a physician, I believe that Trump is absolutely right about allowing cheaper pharmaceutical drugs manufactured abroad to be sold in the United States. He is right that the pharmaceutical companies essentially sell their products to the federal government via Medicare and Medicaid without competitive bidding. In other areas of the budget, such as defense, federal laws require competitive bidding. It is outrageous this doesn’t occur with drugs and devices, especially since the health care budget is right behind defense in terms of expense.

 

Trump is right when he says that drug companies control the landscape. He appears to be willing to call it as it is and not worry about repercussions from the powerful drug interests, and has moved in the right direction in saying he would let Medicare negotiate with pharmaceutical companies if he becomes president. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, accepted more cash from pharmaceutical companies in the first six months of her campaign than any other candidate in either party. This lessens the potency of her claims to take similar action and suggests yet again disingenuous declarations. If she claims to be such an enemy of Big Pharma, then why are they contributing to her campaign?

 

Trump looks at the world through the prism of commerce. The situation we are in with pharmaceuticals and medical devices makes no sense to him. As a physician, I think it’s near criminal that special interests come before my patients. The drug lobbies have succeeded in making the importation of prescription drugs illegal under various self-serving agendas, disguised as “for the public good” and “protecting the drug companies” so they can continue to innovate.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy
Scoop.it!

Why Prescription Drugs Aren't Part of Obamacare: PhRMA Duh!

After six years, the Affordable Care Act has extended health care coverage to millions of people. But affordability problems remain, most prominently in the area of prescription drugs. Obamacare left the pharmaceutical industry largely unregulated while requiring it to pay for some of the law’s increased drug coverage.

“That is probably my single greatest regret, is we didn’t have the chance to get negotiating power for Medicare for drugs. That would have made a profound difference,” said former Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), a member of the Finance Committee when the health care law was being negotiated and passed throughout 2009 and into 2010.

Another former lawmaker, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who was the House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman at the time, said there is a simple explanation for why the law doesn’t do more to rein in drugmakers. “The Obama administration decided to make a deal with the PhRMA to get them to support the legislation,” he told Morning Consult. “PhRMA got a number of favorable provisions in the legislation.”

Pharma Guy's insight:

Read: "Trump Woos N.H. by Calling for Medicare to Negotiate Drug Prices!"; http://sco.lt/4skIDJ Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, as well as President Obama, have called for the same policy of letting Medicare negotiate prices, which it is currently banned from doing under the 2003 Medicare prescription drug law. The Democratic candidates have both bashed the drug companies on the stump. 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy
Scoop.it!

#Pharma Nerds Cost Medicare More Than Do Pharma Bros

#Pharma Nerds Cost Medicare More Than Do Pharma Bros | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

There are many important differences between the “Pharma Nerds” developing innovative life-saving drugs – including Gilead Sciences’ Sovaldi – and the “Pharma Bros” exploiting loopholes to profit from generics like Daraprim.


Daraprim should be inexpensive.  It’s an old drug, without any significant manufacturing challenges.


But it’s expensive by design.


Contrast this with other high priced branded drugs.  Arguably, the biggest backlash went against Gilead Sciences’ Sovaldi and Harvoni, essentially cures for hepatitis C (HCV). The two drugs list price is $84,000 and $94,500 respectively for 12-weeks of therapy – over $1,000 a pill. To date, only a fraction (about 2%) of U.S. HCV patients have been treated.



Pharma Guy's insight:

Drugs developed by the "nerds" cost Medicare the most money. Daraprim is not even on the list.

more...
Alden Murray's curator insight, November 14, 2017 9:45 AM
Generic Harvoni: Best for Hepatitis C Infection
Generic Harvoni have combination of Sofosbuvir 400 mg and Ledipasvir 90 mg in one tablet. The ledipasvir/sofosbuvir combination is indicated for the treatment of Hepatitis C infection. Allrxgenmeds provides wide range of Hepatitis C Medicines at best price. Read more https://goo.gl/ihM9PE
Scooped by Pharma Guy
Scoop.it!

Would President Trump Empower Medicare with "The Art of the Deal"?

Would President Trump Empower Medicare with "The Art of the Deal"? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

A good negotiator needs to be able to walk away.

That is a rule that, surely, Donald Trump knows. And yet in suggesting that Medicare could find big discounts by letting the government negotiate directly over drug prices, he seems to have forgotten it.

Mr. Trump has joined Hillary Clintonand Bernie Sanders in calling for a federal government program to negotiate for Medicare’s drug prices. The current system has private insurance companies each negotiating separate deals on behalf of large groups of Medicare patients. Right now, the program is O.K. at negotiating, saving as much as 30 percent off the list price of drugs, according to government reports. But Medicare still pays much, much more than government health systems in other countries.

The idea of government directly negotiating with drug makers has been a liberal favorite ever since Medicare began paying for drugs 10 years ago. You can see the appeal. The thinking goes like this: Medicare’s drug plans cover about 37 million people. Maybe if it bargained on behalf of all those beneficiaries as one, instead of dividing them into a series of smaller groups, it could get better deals. Other countries, like Britain, where the government purchases drugs for everyone in bulk, pay much, much less for drugs than the United States. In those countries, private companies don’t do the negotiating; the government does. And they don’t split the big market.

“We don’t do it,” Mr. Trump said at a Farmington, N.H., campaign event, according to The Associated Press. “Why? Because of drug companies.”

But if you talk to experts who study the pharmaceutical market in the United States, they aren’t optimistic that, by itself, letting the government play drug negotiator would take a big bite out of prescription drug spending.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy
Scoop.it!

Government Trove of Data on Doctors’ Prescribing Patterns Can Be Linked to #Pharma Payments to Docs

Government Trove of Data on Doctors’ Prescribing Patterns Can Be Linked to #Pharma Payments to Docs | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

The data released by Medicare today includes summary information, such as the total number of prescriptions written by each doctor in 2013, as well as more detailed information about each drug a doctor prescribed. It covers prescriptions worth more than $103 billion, not including rebates that lower the cost by an undisclosed amount.


The top prescribed drug in the program in 2013 was the blood pressure drug Lisinopril, prescribed 36.9 million times, including refills. Medicare spent the most on Nexium, $2.5 billion, not including rebates. The drug taken by the most Part D patients was the narcotic hydrocodone-acetaminophen. More than 8 million users filled at least one prescription for it.


Eric Hammelman, a vice president at the consulting firm Avalere Health, said the prescribing data could unlock clues about differences in how doctors practice medicine. Take, for instance, antibiotics, he said, which are often prescribed for inappropriate reasons. While the new data won’t show which prescriptions are inappropriate, it may flag providers who should be asked questions because they prescribe the drugs to a high proportion of their patients.


Beyond that, if consumers compare the prescribing data to data on the payments drug companies have made to doctors, they can see how often doctors prescribe products sold by companies with whom they have financial relationships.


“Knock on wood, these files are coming out on a regular basis. I think some of the doctors and manufacturers would prefer this goes away,” Hammelman said.

more...
goldenskyonlinepharmacy's curator insight, October 8, 6:21 PM
 
Carney Cheryl's comment, October 23, 11:54 PM
Buy hydrocodone online in USA legally with overnight shipping. No need prescription for buy hydrocodone cod available. You can easily buy hydrocodone 10/325 mg online without Rx. Buy hydrocodone online 80% discount in USA and Canada all states.

Check here

https://www.onlinepainmart.com/buy-hydrocodone-online.html
Scooped by Pharma Guy
Scoop.it!

An Obscure Drug Made from Pig Pituitaries Has a Growing Medicare Tab

An Obscure Drug Made from Pig Pituitaries Has a Growing Medicare Tab | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

An obscure injectable medication made from pigs' pituitary glands has surged up the list of drugs that cost Medicare the most money, taking a growing bite out of the program's resources.


Medicare's tab for the medication, H.P. Acthar Gel, jumped twentyfold from 2008 to 2012, reaching $141.5 million, according to Medicare prescribing data requested by ProPublica. The bill for 2013 is likely to be even higher, exceeding $220 million.


Acthar's explosive growth illustrates how Medicare's prescription drug program — perhaps more than private health insurers and even other public health programs — is struggling to contain the taxpayer burden of expensive therapies aimed at rare conditions.


Many outside experts say there's insufficient evidence that the drug works better than much cheaper options for treating multiple sclerosis relapses and a rare kidney disease, conditions for which it is often prescribed. In the absence of such scientific studies, some private health insurance companies, as well as Tricare, the military's health care program, have curtailed or eliminated spending on Acthar. Proponents of the drug say it is a worthy option for patients who have failed on other therapies.

Pharma Guy's insight:


Another drug from pigs -- intestines -- caused health problems in the U.S. some time ago. Some of the active ingredient imported from China was adulterated with poison! For more on that, read: 

Unsafe Drugs: Is It Counterfeiters or the Supply Chain That's the Problem?

more...
No comment yet.