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 the dismissal of PhRMA's lawsuit challenging California's drug price transparency law, a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll investigating the public perception of drug prices and much more.
A federal judge has dismissed the Pharmaceutical Researchers & Manufacturers of America's (PhRMA) lawsuit filed to block the implementation of SB 17, California's landmark drug price transparency legislation. SB 17 requires drug makers to provide advance notice and reasoning for substantial Rx price increases. Stakeholders celebrated the victory in the fight against high-priced drugs. Health Access' Executive Director Anthony Wright commented on the dismissal saying:
"Instead of working to implement the law, they instead chose to spend millions to file a lawsuit to prevent Californians from knowing when and why their prescription drugs prices keep skyrocketing. We're glad the court saw their arguments as baseless as California consumers do."
Kaiser Family Foundation: Poll: The ACA's Pre-Existing Condition Protections Remain Popular with the Public, including Republicans, As Legal Challenge Looms This Week
In a new poll, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that an increasing percentage of Americans understand the outsize impact high-priced drugs have on overall health care costs.
"The public debate over drug prices appears to having an impact on the public's views of drug companies. When asked about the reasons behind rising health care costs, an increasing share of the public blames prescription drug companies. Eight in ten (78%) say drug companies making too much money is a 'major reason' why people's health care costs have been rising, up from 62 percent in 2014."
CT Mirror: Senate backs White House on effort to require drug prices in ads
"Last week the U.S. Senate gave consumers - along with doctors, hospitals, and Connecticut's health insurers - a win by approving bipartisan legislation that would require this 'direct-to-consumer' advertising to include the price of these medications, which are among the costliest on the market...
"'Last year, the pharmaceutical industry spent more than $6 billion in direct-to-consumer advertisements, which drive up health care costs by steering patients toward more expensive, often unnecessary medications,' Grassley said in a speech on the Senate floor last week. 'The average American sees nine direct-to-consumer prescription drug ads each day.'"
California Healthline: The High Cost Of Hope: When The Parallel Interests Of Pharma And Families Collide
A desperate but determined group of parents raised millions through golf tournaments and cocktail parties to support research for drugs to fight cystinosis, a rare, fatal childhood disease. They were ecstatic when a pill called Procysbi was approved in 2013...
"But the families' elation dimmed when Raptor Pharmaceutical, which acquired the marketing rights and financed clinical trials for Procysbi, priced the drug: more than $300,000 a year for some patients...
"Procysbi is an 'orphan drug,' under FDA rules, giving its makers an extended monopoly and the opportunity for big profits because it treats a disease affecting only about 500 Americans.
Its price has risen five times in the past five years, first by Raptor and later through its current owner, Horizon. For some patients, it now costs more than $1 million annually."
Kaiser Health News: Insulin's Steep Price Leads To Deadly Rationing
"The price of insulin in the U.S. has more than doubled since 2012 alone. That's put the lifesaving hormone out of reach for some people with diabetes, like Smith-Holt's son Alec Raeshawn Smith. It has left others scrambling for solutions to afford the one thing they need to live...
"For Nicole Smith-Holt, as well as a growing number of online activists who tweet under the hashtag #insulin4all, much of the blame should fall on the three main manufacturers of insulin today: Sanofi of France, Novo Nordisk of Denmark and Eli Lilly in the U.S.
"The three companies are being sued in U.S. federal court by diabetic patients in Massachusetts who allege the prices are rising at the expense of patients' health."