Why prescription prices stay high: Pharma recycles old medications

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Why prescription prices stay high: Pharma recycles old medications

Oatent extensions let drug makers keep prices high and prevent competition, as described in a recent study from the University of California at Hastings College of the Law tracks. “Rather than creating new medicines, pharmaceutical companies are recycling and repurposing old ones,” write the authors, Robin Feldman and Connie Wang. “Every year, at least 74% […]

Orphan drugs bring bounty for Big Pharma, at a steep price: Shots, NPR

Orphan drugs bring bounty for Big Pharma, at a steep price: Shots, NPR

Summary: “Before Luke Whitbeck began taking a $300,000-a-year drug, the 2-year-old’s health was inexplicably failing. A pale boy with enormous eyes, Luke frequently ran high fevers, tired easily and was skinny all over, except his belly stuck out like a bowling ball,” Sarah Jane Tribble and Sydney Lupkin write at NPR in a piece about […]

Furor Over Drug Prices Puts Patient Groups in Bind: The New York Times

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Furor Over Drug Prices Puts Patient Groups in Bind: The New York Times

Summary: “Public anger over the cost of drugs has burned hot for a year, coursing through social media, popping up on the presidential campaign, and erupting in a series of congressional hearings, including one last week over the rising price of the allergy treatment EpiPen,” writes Katie Thomas at The New York Times. “But one […]

A discussion of drug prices from a thinkfest in Aspen

A discussion of drug prices from a thinkfest in Aspen

Summary: Here’s the transcript of a thoughtful panel discussion on drug prices from the Aspen Institute, involving Zeke Emanuel, the co-founder of Blink Health, a Consumer Reports person, a hospital representative, and a pharma person, among others. Read and weep. Sample passage: “She did what thousands of Americans did and have told us that they […]

Drug price increase from $13.50 to $750 brings protests: New York Times

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Drug price increase from $13.50 to $750 brings protests: New York Times

Summary: “Specialists in infectious disease are protesting a gigantic overnight increase in the price of a 62-year-old drug that is the standard of care for treating a life-threatening parasitic infection,” writes Andrew Pollack in The New York Times.  “The drug, called Daraprim, was acquired in August by Turing Pharmaceuticals, a start-up run by a former […]

How Health Insurance Companies Keep Your Premiums High: Guest post

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

How Health Insurance Companies Keep Your Premiums High: Guest post

  GUEST POST SUMMARY: Many insurance plans make you go to an approved doctor at an approved hospital for approved procedures and take approved drugs. Even doctors often don’t have much say in this. We hand all this control to insurance companies and they use it, they say, to control their own costs. Is that all […]

Expensive prescription drugs: a few resources for those in need

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Expensive prescription drugs: a few resources for those in need

We’ve all heard about astonishingly expensive  drugs, and about drug company resources for helping people afford them. Here’s another resource:  “When people in these circumstances need help, many turn to Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs), while others apply for financial assistance through independent non-profits such as The HealthWell Foundation. PAPs – which are offered by state governments or […]