drug prices

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Déjà Voodoo: Pharma’s Promises To Curb Drug Prices Have Been Heard Before

Jul 25, 2018
Photo licensed under CC0. https://pixabay.com/en/pills-dispenser-pills-medicine-966334/

Prescription drug prices were soaring. Angry policymakers swore they’d take action. Pharma giant Merck responded by promising to address the problem voluntarily, vowing to keep price increases under the overall rate of inflation.

“We believe these moderate increases are a responsible approach, which will help to contain costs,” the Merck CEO said at the annual shareholders meeting.

That assurance wasn’t made last week, when multiple drug companies offered similar pledges amid similar criticism. It was nearly three decades ago, in 1990.

FDA Repays Industry by Rushing Risky Drugs to Market

Jun 27, 2018
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Nuplazid, a drug for hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s disease, failed two clinical trials. In a third trial, under a revised standard for measuring its effect, it showed minimal benefit. Overall, more patients died or had serious side effects on Nuplazid than after receiving no treatment

Patients on Uloric, a gout drug, suffered more heart attacks, strokes and heart failure in two out of three trials than did their counterparts on standard or no medication.

Without Price Breaks, Rural Hospitals Struggle To Stock Lifesaving Drugs

Sep 18, 2017
Sarah Jane Tribble / Kaiser Health News

Hospital pharmacist Mandy Langston remembers when Lulabelle Berry arrived at Stone County Medical Center’s emergency department last year.

Berry couldn’t talk. Her face was drooping on one side. Her eyes couldn’t focus.

“She was basically unresponsive,” Langston recalls.

Costs Of Widely Prescribed Drugs Jumped 5,241 Percent In Recent Years

Nov 29, 2016
Coburn Dukehart/Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Jess Franz-Christensen did not realize the seriousness of her son’s Type 1 diabetes diagnosis until staff in the doctor’s office offered to call an ambulance to take him to the hospital.

Her next shock: The cost of Jack’s medicines.

The Mercenary Markets of U.S. Health Care

Aug 24, 2016
kiwinky/via Flickr

I never thought that I’d consider buying drugs from Canada. For years I’ve heard rumors about people getting medications from over the border, and now I find myself considering it. You see, we spent $2800 of our health plan’s $3500 deductible on EpiPens this Spring. And since those EpiPens are only good for about a year, we’ll spend another $2800 (or more) next Spring. And then again the Spring after that. And so on.

Free Meals From Pharma Are Linked to Costlier Prescribing

Jun 21, 2016

Evidence is mounting that doctors who receive as little as one meal from a drug company tend to prescribe more expensive, brand-name medications for common ailments than those who don't.

In one of the most expensive drug ad campaigns of the year (totaling an estimated $100 million) drugmaker Gilead is pushing a hepatitis C drug, Harvoni, that is straining states' healthcare budgets around the country. As STAT reports, Harvoni's  $94,500 per person price tag has raised an outcry among state leaders whose Medicaid budgets can't handle the cost.