November 19, 2018
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.  Our latest edition highlights  the widening impact of high-priced drugs, drugmakers' working together to raise prices in lockstep,  the rising costs of the opioid epidemic  and more. 
In a recent opinion piece from Forbes, Policy Editor Avik Roy breaks down what's really driving high drug costs and highlights their undeniable impact on the entire healthcare system. Challenging assertions from pharma, Mr. Roy explains how the high-priced drug crisis is impacting patients, taxpayers and consumers through higher premiums:  

"Nobody forces drug companies to charge high prices. Patients and consumers and taxpayers are removed from the price of the drugs they consume, and therefore don't always understand how their insurance premiums and Medicare costs keep rising on account of rising drug prices. 

"As a result, in the absence of competition, manufacturers frequently charge the highest prices they believe they can justify in the court of public opinion."

Read more  here
STAT: Extraordinary tactics, perverse incentives: Makers of top-selling drugs hike prices in lockstep, and patients bear the cost

"The drug giants moved in near-perfect synchronicity, raising prices for their top-selling arthritis treatments as though they were opposite-corner gas stations bumping up the price of unleaded.

"On Jan. 3, 2013, AbbVie ( ABBV) hiked the price of  Humira, its blockbuster biologic drug for arthritis and related conditions, by 6.9 percent. A day later, Amgen ( AMGN) followed with an identical increase for Enbrel, another biologic used to treat similar patients. The pattern repeated 10 more times between 2014 and early 2018. In every instance, prices of both drugs jumped by nearly the same percentage, usually within days of each other, topping out at the exact same amount, $63,363 per year, according to a STAT analysis of pricing data.

"The rapid run-up, almost a 140 percent increase overall, reflects the companies' clout in a market where patients suffer from autoimmune diseases that shackle them with blinding pain and can make everyday activities - eating, sleeping, raising kids - an ordeal. Humira is the world's best-selling drug, while Enbrel holds the No. 5 slot, and neither therapy has competition from generic versions known as biosimilars."

Read the full piece  here
RunawayRx: Three Ways You're Footing Pharma's Bill

As skyrocketing drug prices continue to take a toll on governments, employers, and families, RunawayRx's new whiteboard video reveals that taxpayers are footing much more of the bill than they may realize.

Your payment for prescription medications is NOT limited to the pharmacy counter - click to watch the video above and learn more about the three ways you're paying for soaring prescription drug prices.

Watch and share the video  here

STAT: The Costs of Heroin and Naloxone: A Tragic Snapshot of the Opioid Crisis

"A comparison of heroin (and other illicit opioids) with naloxone, the lifesaving antidote for opioid overdoses, offers a devastating peek into the overdose epidemic that is ravaging the United States...

"Given the ongoing devastation of the opioid crisis, you might expect that naloxone would be widely available at a low price. Not so. A decade ago, a  lifesaving dose of naloxone cost $1. Today, that same dose costs $150 for the nasal spray, a 150-fold increase. A naloxone auto-injector,  approved in 2016, costs $4,500.

"Pharmaceutical innovation hasn't driven up these prices. Opportunity has.

"Market forces are working from opposite directions to boost the death count from opioids. In the midst of this crisis, lethally potent street drugs are increasingly affordable and available, while their lifesaving antidote, naloxone, is increasingly expensive and difficult to obtain."

Read the full piece  here

RunawayRx's recent fact sheet has more on this issue  here

RunawayRx: The Ever-Increasing Cost of Oncology Drugs

Every year during the month of October millions of Americans come together to raise awareness about the impact breast cancer has on the more than 3.5 million U.S. women who have a history of the disease.
 
To help amplify this crucial message during this year's awareness month, RunawayRx released a new  fact sheet, highlighting the increasingly difficult challenge breast cancer, and all cancer patients, face beyond diagnosis: the financial impact of treatment.

Check out the full fact sheet  here

For the latest updates and information on the prescription drug pricing crisis, visit the RunawayRx website:
RunawayRx | (818) 760-2121 | info@runawayrx.org
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