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  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , pharmaceutical companies   

    Insulin prices have killed again 

    Insulin prices have killed again

    Previously we’ve discussed how insulin is being priced out of the reach of many people who require the drug to keep their diabetes under control. Without proper medication, diabetes can become very dangerous very quickly. When insulin was first discovered the people who first discovered it refused to commercialize the drug claiming that it was unethical to profit from such a life-saving innovation. In the decades since that kind of altruism seems to have ceased to exist. Sadly, that loss of philanthropy has cost at least one man his life.

    A 27-year-old man from Northern Virginia suffered from Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 the type of diabetes that you’re born with as opposed to Type 2 which develops through obesity. The man in question aged out of his parents’ health insurance and the insurance from his job was limited at best. He could no longer afford the $1,200 a month inulin cost. Instead, he purchased a $25 per vial from insulin that can be bought over the counter. Unfortunately, the over the counter insulin wasn’t effective enough for the man’s Type 1 diabetes and he died from a stroke after falling into a diabetic coma.

    In a country that’s supposed to be a world leader in medicine, we’re punishing people for having illnesses that they have no control of. If they’re not having the price of their medications raised beyond reason, they’re being crippled with debt over the cost of repeated treatments. Then the public is told by politicians that while this kind of treatment is regrettable that’s just the way it is. Until the medical infrastructure in this country is overhauled, we’ll continue to suffer scores of preventable fatalities.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , pharmaceutical companies, prescription drugs   

    Will Canadian drugs reduce healthcare costs? 

    Will Canadian drugs reduce healthcare costs?

    If you’ve been following healthcare news for the past few years you’ve no doubt heard the stories of skyrocketing prescription drug costs. Whether it’s the life-saving EpiPen, alleged price-fixing between pharmaceutical manufacturers or exorbitant fees for insulin it hasn’t been the best time for consumers who rely on any kind of prescription medication. The current pharmaceutical market seems to be stifling innovation and competition for the sake of larger and larger profits while many Americans continue to go without their medication. Now the Trump Administration, of all people, is proposing a new way of reducing the cost of prescription drugs.

    President Trump is said to be drafting a proposal that would allow the U.S. to import lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada. As of right now, it’s illegal to import any drugs from foreign countries. Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders also approves of importing prescription drugs from other countries as it would increase competition and lower prices.

    As you might imagine, the pharmaceutical industry opposes this move as they feel it would undermine the safety of US patients. However, it’s not like Canada doesn’t have a world-class healthcare system. Not only that but the drugs that would be imported would be limited to only drugs that are currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The new proposal would also likely face challenges in the court as the pharmaceutical lobby does have deep pockets.

    While this new proposal would be welcome by many Americans struggling to pay for their medications, it unfortunately will not take place overnight. However, it is encouraging to see that in these trying political times that both sides of the aisle are willing to work toward a common cause that could actually benefit the American people.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: collusion, , , pharmaceutical companies, ,   

    Are drug companies colluding to raise prices? 

    Are drug companies colluding to raise prices?

    Previously, we’ve discussed a lawsuit against the country’s generic drug makers by 44 state Attorney’s General. The AGs claim that the pharmaceutical companies in question are colluding to keep the prices of generic drugs at the same inflated rate. Normally, when a patent expires on a brand name drug, it allows other drug manufacturers to make the exact same drug for cheaper. However, the lawsuit states that at least 20 companies are conspiring to keep generic drug prices from being competitive.

    Yesterday, the full details of the federal lawsuit were made public and included a number of codewords that the pharmaceutical companies used in discussions between each other. For example, ‘fluff pricing’ would refer to one of the companies charging a much more exorbitant price for a particular drug to maintain an illusion of competition. Whereas ‘playing nice in the sandbox’ allegedly referred to the companies not making trouble for each other. The lawsuit even alleges that the companies have tried to cover their tracks by instituting a no email policy and that they only communicate by phone.

    Artificially inflated drug prices can also affect the facilities that carry them and the insurance carriers that try to help pay for them. However, in the end, it’s inevitably the patient who has to shoulder the brunt of the cost. If the allegations in the lawsuit are true then the people in true need of these medications become nothing more than hostages paying an ever-increasing ransom to crooked companies.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , pharmaceutical companies, ,   

    Are you being gouged for your medicine? 

    Are you being gouged for your medicine?

    Healthcare costs in this country continue to skyrocket and are out of reach of the many Americans who desperately need it. Whether it’s because of the states that refuse to expand their Medicaid programs or the fact that employers aren’t offering affordable healthcare coverage, many Americans are either uninsured or underinsured. It also doesn’t help that many pharmaceutical companies continue to put profits over patients’ needs. The most famous cases of this was by Martin Shkreli, aka the ‘Pharma Bro’ when he raised the price of a drug used to treat HIV patients from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill. While Shkrelli is currently serving time for fraud it seems that other companies are following his strategy.

    44 State Attorneys General are suing a number of generic drug manufacturers for allegedly colluding to keep their prices higher than they should be. The suit alleges that the manufacturers of a “broad conspiracy” to inflate and manipulate prices of more than 100 commonly prescribed generic drugs. Normally, when a patent expires on a brand name drug, it allows other drug manufacturers to make the exact same drug for cheaper.

    Many of the drugs the Attorneys General accuse the drug companies of overinflating the price include simple things like antibiotics to life and death drugs like those for diabetes, cancer, MS, and HIV. The increased pricing not only puts a strain on the patients who require these drugs but also on health carriers, Medicare and Medicaid. The pharmaceutical companies accused of the price-fixing claim that the drugs that have increased in price are just a minority among the thousands of generics that are made today.

    Do you take a generic medication on a regular basis? If so, have you seen the price jump dramatically in the past few years? If so, please leave a comment below.

     
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