Pharma Industry News Update: 5 Jan 2018

Pfizer Raises Wholesale Price of 148 Drugs, Including Viagra

Is That a Dick “Bogadh” or What?

[From] Pharma firms have imposed price rises of several times the rate of inflation on more than 1,000 products in the United States, a new year move that risks a political backlash at a time of intense scrutiny on healthcare costs.

Pfizer, the largest stand-alone pharmaceutical company in the US, raised the average wholesale price of 148 drugs by between 6 and 13.5 per cent, according to data, with a mean average increase of 8.8 per cent.

The list included several of its best-known medicines such as Viagra, the erectile dysfunction treatment made in Cork, Ireland. and Lyrica for nerve pain.

Other large drugmakers, including Allergan, GlaxoSmithKline, Gilead, Shire, Biogen, Teva, Baxter and Viiv also increased the US list prices of their medicines on January 1st, according to the data.


Further Reading:

Azar Would Be Detrimental to Americans’ Access to Health Care

So Says Public Citizen

[From] Saying that it would be detrimental to Americans for Alex Azar to be secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), more than 60 organizations today urged senators not to confirm him.

In a letter, the groups – representing patients, health care providers, public health experts, women, people of color, workers, consumers and people of faith – said they are deeply concerned by statements made by Azar as well as his record at the pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly and Company.

“We believe that elevating Mr. Azar to Secretary of HHS would be detrimental to Americans’ access to quality, affordable health care across the country,” the letter said.

The groups oppose Azar because:

  • He has denounced the Affordable Care Act (ACA) even though it expanded health insurance coverage and access to health care services for millions of Americans.
  • Eli Lilly is facing multiple class-action lawsuits alleging violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and numerous state fraud, unfair trade practices and consumer protection laws related to the company raising insulin prices in lockstep with Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. Eli Lilly is also facing a suit brought by the federal government and 31 states alleging False Claims Act violations involving a scheme to boost insulin sales, as well as investigations by at least five state attorneys general.

More reasons can be found here…

Drop in life expectancy an “indictment of the American health care system”

And Hope of New Drugs Produced by Pharma

[From] The economy may be growing and the stock market booming, but Americans are dying younger – living shorter lives than previous generations and dying earlier than their counterparts around the world.

It is easy to place the blame squarely on our nation’s opioid epidemic, but if we do that we miss seeing the abysmal new life expectancy data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for what they are – an indictment of the American health care system.

According to the CDC, the average life expectancy at birth in the U.S. fell by 0.1 years, to 78.6, in 2016, following a similar drop in 2015. This is the first time in 50 years that life expectancy has fallen for two years running. In 25 other developed countries, life expectancy in 2015 averaged 81.8 years.