Monday, October 05, 2015

GREED FILES - Big-Pharma and Profit Extortion

"Is profit or innovation driving the rising costs of drugs?" PBS NewsHour 9/29/2015

Nah.... Big-Pharma really do care about customers being able to afford their drugs..... NOT!   ...MORE $money$! or your life!


SUMMARY:  Turing Pharmaceuticals sparked outcry when it raised the price of a single pill from $13 to $750.  Judy Woodruff discusses the rising costs of prescriptions drugs with Dr. Peter Bach of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Dr. Thomas Stossel of Harvard Medical School.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Now let’s turn to the rising price of prescription drugs and outcries to do something about it.

The latest uproar began after The New York Times reported how one company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of a drug from $13 a pill to $750.  It follows headlines about the rising costs of new cancer drugs, as well as a breakthrough drug for hepatitis C that initially cost more than $80,000 for a course of treatment.

The two leading Democratic candidates for president, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, are proposing big changes, including lowering patient costs and bigger discounts for Medicare.

Now two views on this.

Dr. Peter Bach is the director of the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.  And Dr. Thomas Stossel is the director of translational medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

And, gentlemen, we welcome you both.

Dr. Bach, I’m going to start with you.

Why is this happening?

DR. PETER BACH, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center:  Well, it’s really that there’s no system in place the hold down drug prices, and so companies are just becoming increasingly bold, charging prices that they think the market will bear.

And Turing Pharmaceuticals and the 55-fold increase in the price of Daraprim is just a version of a company testing the market, if you will, just how high they can raise a price.  But we see it across drugs, rapid inflation in the cost of drugs, not only new ones, but old ones.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  Dr. Stossel, how do you explain it?  It’s long been the case that there has been no system for keeping prices down.  Why now?

DR. THOMAS STOSSEL, Harvard Medical School:  Well, there still is no system, although people are asking for it.

Well, thank you for having me.

So, I have been in medicine for almost half-a-century, and it’s incredibly better because of the drugs that are available.  So, drugs bring great value.  There’s no question about it.  Also, despite the fact there’s been uptake in costs in recent years, they still constitute less than, I think, 14 percent of total health care costs.

Now, in that 50 years, the price, the cost of what it takes to get a drug approved by the FDA has increased 100 times.

No comments: