December 19, 2017
RunawayRx's Dose of Reality series helps keep the public up-to-date on pharma's latest drug pricing schemes and major happenings around the industry. Today's edition highlights pharma's nefarious use of a charity to push its agenda, a recent AARP report on rising Rx prices and pharma's new attacks on policies that are attempting to rein prices in:
Caring Voice Coalition, one of the biggest patient assistance charities in the US that receieves millions of dollars each year from pharmaceutical companies, has lost its stamp of approval from the US government for improperly allowing its donors to influence the organization's decision-making, according to a report from  Bloomberg

"[Caring Voice] provided drugmakers with data that could help them see if their contributions were helping their own customers, potentially giving the companies "greater ability to raise the prices of their drugs while insulating patients from the immediate out-of-pocket effects," and letting Medicare pay for the cost increases, according to the OIG's letter, which was posted on the HHS website."

"...average price increases for prescription drugs widely used by older Americans, including Medicare beneficiaries, far outstripped the price increases for other consumer goods and services between 2006 and 2015. Prescription drug prices have regularly increased faster than general inflation over the past 12 years-the entire period since the beginning of our report series on prescription drug prices in 2004."

S ee the whole study here

"The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturing Association (PhRMA), along with individual pharmaceutical companies and biotech firms, have vigorously lobbied to stop all drug price legislation at a state or federal level. They are on track to spend over $220 million this year alone on these lobbying efforts.  All the while, healthcare costs continue to rise."

R ead the full article here.

Rather than partnering with the wide coalition attempting to bring prescription drug prices down, pharma is attempting to roll back even the most common-sense policies. CAHP's President & CEO, Charles Bacchi, weighed in on the industry's harmful effort to keep Californians in the dark:

"By passing SB 17, California's Legislature sent a crystal-clear message that it is time for a change. This action proves pharma doesn't care what California's voters and elected representatives think." 

See CAHP's full statement here.

"Two pills to wipe out hookworm could cost you 4 cents. Or $400. It just depends where you live. The 4 cents is in Tanzania. That'll cover the two pills it takes to knock out the intestinal parasite. But in the United States, where hookworm has re-emerged, the price for two 200 mg tablets of albendazole can cost as much as $400.

It's not just a problem with the anti-hookworm pill. Drugs for diseases of the developing world, in particular what are known as "neglected tropical diseases" like hookworm and leishmaniasis, are enormously more expensive in the United States than in the developing world."

Read the full article here.
For the latest updates and information on the prescription drug pricing crisis, visit the RunawayRx website:
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