Perspectives: At The Dawn Of A Golden Age Of Medicine, Pharma Promises To Put Patients First
Read recent commentaries about drug-cost issues.
A New Biotech And Pharma Industry Commitment To Patients, Public
We the undersigned leaders in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, academia, and life science investors, recognize that at this pivotal moment in the history of our industry we are at the dawn of a golden age of medicine. We will soon have the ability to treat and cure diseases that have long been untreatable and incurable. Our industry is unique. We save, extend, and enhance lives by alleviating the scourge of disease. Our mission is to change the course of each individual’s life for the better. To achieve this, we acknowledge that we have a moral obligation to develop the best medicines and ensure that every person who may benefit has access to them. (215 biopharma CEOs and industry leaders, 1/8)
Prescription Drug Costs In Americans Are Sky-High. And Yes, Big Pharma Greed Is To Blame.
As debates around drug prices heat up on the presidential campaign trail, the House of Representatives voted in December to pass Speaker Nancy Pelosi's drug bill, which contains key provisions allowing the government to negotiate lower prices on at least 50 drugs each year. This would come as a welcome relief to Americans who pay more per capita for prescription drugs than our wealthy global peers. Yet many believe the Republican-controlled Senate is likely to bury the bill. Once again, lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry are committed to blocking the way, arguing that prices must be kept high in order for firms to invest in new drugs through big research and development programs. (Lynn Stuart Parramore, 1/2)
Antibiotics Need A Special Place In The Drug Pricing Debate
Melinta Therapeutics, one of the few companies to recently bring a new antibiotic to market, filed for bankruptcy at the end of December. This news comes less than a year after another antibiotic developer, Achaogen, did the same thing. More than 90% of antibiotics in the pipeline today are being developed by small companies like these, not by the pharmaceutical giants that once dominated the field. And with antibiotic prices low and profit margins narrow, many small companies just can’t stay afloat. (Allan Coukell, 1/7)
Alexion Soliris $500,000 Price Challenged By Apellis Alternative
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s Soliris may be the most successful rare-disease medicine in history. Its approval in multiple conditions and an annual price tag that can exceed $500,000 propelled the drug to more than $3 billion in sales last year. Now, for the first time, it looks like Alexion’s blockbuster will face serious competition. (Max Nisen, 1/7)
The Baltimore Sun:
Miracle Drugs Can’t Help If They Aren’t Affordable
I was very happy to read the article about how a new drug provided a much needed cure for a two-year-old Maryland child with a rare disease (“Priceless cure for Maryland baby cost $2.1 million, but insurer paid — and now she’s expected to live,” Jan. 3). However, unlike in other countries where people pay a lot less for drugs such as the one described in the article, which cost $2.1 million, there is no one at the United States federal level working to make sure that these lifesaving drugs are affordable for Americans. As a result, about a quarter of people in our country can’t afford the drugs they need and all of us pay higher insurance premiums when our health insurance companies have to pay exorbitant prices to the drug corporations. Drugs don’t work if people can’t afford them. (Vincent DeMarco, 1/6)