February 13, 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 most recent edition highlights a patient advocacy group that says enough is enough, a shocking sticker price for rabies treatment, pharma's increased legislative influence in state battles, and yet another drug company gouging patients with through the roof prices.   
On Thursday, the advocacy group Patients for Affordable Drugs NOW, launched a plan to back federal and state candidates dedicated to fighting high-priced drugs. The group, founded by David Mitchell, aims to make rising costs a high-profile, bipartisan issue in the upcoming 2018 elections. 

"Anyone who's been a patient or family member of a patient knows that drug corporations rake in record profits and rip off Americans struggling to pay the bills," said Mitchell. 

Read the full CNBC story  here.
Vox Why a simple, lifesaving rabies shot can cost $10,000 in America

" In England, the drug to treat rabies exposure costs $1,600. Here, hospitals charge $10,000.

" Rabies treatment is more expensive in the United States, as are many medical treatments, because we don't have price controls."

Read more here.
California Healthline: As States Target High Drug Prices, Pharma Targets State Lawmakers

" With federal officials seemingly unwilling or unable to come up with legislation to control skyrocketing drug prices, that task is increasingly moving to the states. And so are the muscle and money deployed by pharma to oppose the measures, according to regulatory disclosures and corporate filings from the last two years.

" Amgen, maker of leukemia drug Blincyto, which costs $173,000 for an average treatment, according to the company, donated to more than 100 statehouse candidates in about a dozen states for the 2016 elections. Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Allergan also directly or indirectly supported state candidates in 2016, CPA data show.

"Pharma companies "definitely have not seen that kind of activity aimed at them at the state level before and have raised their presence to address that," said Leanne Gassaway, top state lobbyist for America's Health Insurance Plans, a major insurance trade group. "

Read more here
FiercePharma: Novartis could cut its Kymriah price to $160,000 and keep its profit margins: study shows

" For their work, the Health Affairs team incorporated Novartis' stated development costs of $1 billion and Kymriah's $475,000 sticker. They estimated manufacturing expenses of $40,000 per treatment and considered that Novartis plans to refund the costs if certain patients don't respond, ending up with an 84% profit margin for the drug on average over 10 years. "

"...the authors concluded that the drug could cost $160,000 and still cover Novartis' "historic margins" and future R&D spending."

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