Saturday, October 15, 2016

Big Pharma - Big Greed

While the scandal of Flint’s lead contaminated public water supply slowly goes through the courts, one organization was very quick to act. Pharmaceutical company, Valeant, raised the price for its critical lead-poisoning treatment by more than 2,700 percent in a single year.

The medication, known as Calcium EDTA, in 2013, the average price for a package of vials was stable at $950. But once the notorious pharmaceutical company bought it out in a multi-billion dollar deal, it swiftly boosted the price to $7,116 in January 2014 and to $26,927 by December of that year.

"This is a drug that has long been a standard of care, and until recently it was widely accessible at an affordable price," Dr. Michael Kosnett, an associate clinical professor, explained. He also contacted U.S. Congress. "There's no justification for the astronomical price increases by Valeant, which limit availability of the drug to children with life-threatening lead poisoning."

The California Poison Control System and the American Association of Poison Control Centers wrote to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to investigate the price hikes, but nothing came of their efforts.

Valeant has been a poster child for pharmaceutical greed. The drug maker regularly bought companies and then boosted prices. The business plan which meant minimal investment in R&D, made the company a Wall Street darling.

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