Perspectives: As COVID Therapies Begin To Emerge, We Need To Be Setting Pricing Models Right Now
Read recent commentaries about drug-cost issues.
Covid-19 And Remdesivir: Rethinking How We Measure Drug 'Value'
As pharmaceutical and biotech companies scramble to identify treatments for Covid-19, a new disease that initially had none, we must begin to figure out what is an appropriate pricing approach — and price — for emerging therapies. Remdesivir, Gilead Sciences’ repurposed antiviral drug, offers the first opportunity to do this. The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) has conducted the first value assessment of remdesivir, a drug with early evidence of treatment effectiveness. Its analysis, however, is premature and highlights many of the flaws inherent in today’s value assessment models. (Patricia Deverka, Louis Garrison and Samuel Nussbaum, 6/15)
Covid-19: Oxford Steroid Drug News Is A Step Toward Virus Relief
As Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in the U.S. and other parts of the world, Oxford University scientists provided a much-needed piece of good news Tuesday: A large, randomized trial in the U.K. that compared dexamethasone — a generic steroid — to standard treatment found that the drug cut the risk of death in severely ill patients. The result comes with caveats. Researchers have only disclosed a limited press release's worth of data at this point and should make haste to publish more details. Until then, some caution is warranted. But the fact that dexamethasone appears to show promise is encouraging and its sheer affordability could help it save lives. In fact, it’s already gained approval for use in treating Covid-19 by Britain’s National Health Service. As I wrote earlier this month, with the virus still raging and no assurance of a safe and effective vaccine arriving any time soon, effective treatments are going to be essential in managing the pandemic. (Max Nisen, 6/16)
COVID-19 Vaccine In Warp Speed
As COVID-19 rages to its highest level in more than a dozen states, it is still killing as many as 1,000 Americans every single day. This isn’t going to stop until we have a vaccine. A COVID-19 vaccine would save tens of thousands of American lives and help rescue the economy, but the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed plan is underfunded and inadequate. Yes, we need to move at warp speed for a vaccine that gets people healthy and back to work. But Trump’s plan leaves out the key steps the nation must take to pave the way for a COVID-19 vaccine without risking the outbreak of other diseases. (Kaitlin Hunter and David Kendall, 6/14)
Want A COVID-19 Vaccine? Don't Put The Government In Charge
Under the guise of coronavirus relief, a pair of Democratic lawmakers are trying to put the federal government in control of private drug companies. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, and Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Illinois Democrat, recently introduced the COVID-19 Emergency Manufacturing Act, which would authorize the government to invalidate the patents of those who have developed critical medicines and other medical supplies needed to fight the coronavirus outbreak — and allow the government to manufacture them. (Sally C. Pipes, 6/12)
Insulin Just Became Much More Accessible - Even In New Jersey
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the last thing people with diabetes need to worry about is how they’ll pay for their insulin, but that’s a growing reality for millions of people. Sixty years ago, just one in 100 Americans had diabetes. Today, more than 100 million Americans have diabetes or pre-diabetes — with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimating that a third of Americans will be diabetic by 2050. And, with almost 1 million diabetic patients, New Jersey’s rate is even higher than the national average. (Elise Amez-Droz, 6/13)