Monday, July 27, 2015

We have just the thing to cure you...

Following on from our previous article on the pharmaceutical business practices we read in thisarticle of further deceit. 

Pharmaceutical corporations have created expensive drugs that treat such rare conditions as being sleepy during the day – that may mean you have narcolepsy says Jazz Pharmaceuticals which its drug Xyrem treats for $35,000 per year.  If you have frequent diarrhea, gas and bloating, it might not be because of your bad diet and eating habits but because you may have exocrine pancreatic insufficiency says AbbVie to sell the drug Creon. Your sore back may not be from your exertions at work but from a disease called ankylosing spondylitis, says AbbVie, a condition that can be treated with its biologic drug Humira for as much as $20,000 a year. (Injectable “biologic” drugs are a new drug industry push because they are so expensive and less susceptible to generic competition than pills.)

Drug companies say they charge those outrageous prices as recouping their research and development costs but admit that their drugs are priced on “value”—what they are “worth” for the patient’s health. Needless to say such valuations come pretty close to the definition of extortion—offers you “can’t refuse.”

Why does the same hepatitis C drug that costs $84,000 a year in the US cost $900 a year in Egypt asked Forbes staff writer Avik Roy. Since most hepatitis C patients in the US are uninsured, underinsured or imprisoned, taxpayers pick up the bill through Medicaid, the VA and prison systems writes Roy.

Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals who made the statin Lipitor the best selling drug in the world before it went off patent are rolling out a cholesterol lowering drug which could be embraced by the millions. The list price of Praluent, an injectable biologic, is over $14,600 a year.  Like Gilead, Sanofi and Regeneron say the price reflects what it is worth in potential benefits to patients and savings to the health care system—e.g. what they can get.

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