Perspectives: When Drug Profits Win, The Patient Always Loses
Read recent commentaries about drug-cost issues.
Drug Companies Are Putting Profits First While the Delta Variant Spreads. That Needs to Change.
While most of the world grapples with the continued effects of the pandemic, from poorer countries whose populations may wait years to be vaccinated to wealthier ones concerned over booster shots in the face of the Delta variant’s rise, there’s one group that’s thriving amid the chaos: the pharmaceutical industry. These past few weeks have been an embarrassment of riches for pharmaceutical companies and their executives. Pfizer (ticker: PFE) reported that it expects its revenue for its Covid-19 vaccine to reach $33.5 billion in 2021. Put in perspective, that handily beats the annual revenue of $19 billion for the world’s best-selling drug ever, Humira, which treats an array of everyday chronic conditions. (Tahir Amin, 8/11)
The Desert Sun:
Prescription Prices (And Drug Company Profits) Kept Rising In Pandemic
Pharmaceutical firms are unveiling their Q2 earnings right now, and America’s largest drug manufacturers are flexing their muscles. Drug giants Bristol Myers Squibb, Merck, Novartis, and Johnson & Johnson all boasted Q2 earnings in the billions. Those companies posted $1.1, $1.2, $2.9, and a whopping $6.3 billion in net earnings, respectively. While the average financial observer might assume those enormous profits are a result of innovation and shrewd business maneuvering, the real driving force behind the success is the ballooning cost of prescription drugs. (Savannah Shoemake, 8/16)
Post Covid-19, Patient Input May Play A Greater Role In Drug Development
A lasting memorial may be emerging for the millions of people who will have tragically died of Covid-19 by the time the pandemic ends: the demonstration that breakthroughs can happen fast when drug companies and regulators listen to and communicate openly with patients. The concept of patient engagement across the health care ecosystem emerged more than a decade ago. Its core idea — incorporating patients’ actual experiences, perspectives, needs, and priorities into treatment efforts and drug-development decisions rather than taking them for granted — started a fundamental change of thinking in the drug development world. (Anthony Yanni, 8/17)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Pain Patients Are The Casualties Of The War On Drugs
“There are almost no chronic conditions I can think of where you look at medical maintenance and say, ‘When are you going to get off it?’ We don’t ask diabetic patients when they’re going to get off their insulin. We reevaluate the need for those medicines at regular intervals and employ every tool we have to treat the underlying causes.” So said Alicia Agnoli, University of California, Davis researcher and lead author of a recent study in JAMA, to Aubrey Whelan, whose report on the study for The Inquirer challenged the dogma of opioid denial as a means to control overdoses and deaths and examined the consequences of this denial on pain patients whose medications have been tapered, often forcibly. (Jeffrey A. Singer and Josh Bloom, 8/16)