Most dangerous prescription drugs not opioids

  • 48.8%, nearly half of anticoagulant adverse events required a hospital stay.
  • Based on CDC data there were nearly 22,000 severe injuries, including more than 3,000 deaths, reported by patients and health care workers relating to blood thinners in 2016.
  • The annual number of people harmed by anticoagulants could be as much as ten times greater than voluntary reports indicate, reaching nearly a quarter of a million people.
  • As many as one-quarter of people with atrial fibrillation who have a low risk of stroke are given blood-thinning drugs they likely don’t need.

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Gilead exec’s flee after milking the health care system

  • Executives at Gilead are leaving a sinking ship.
  • Sales of a breakthrough drug they purchased through the acquisition of Kite Pharma  have failed to match expectations.
  • Gilead charges thousands of dollars for a drug for their AIDS drug, but competition is creeping in.
  • Since Truvada was approved for HIV prevention six years ago, its average wholesale price has increased by about 45 percent.
  • Without more drugs to buy Gilead’s stock has been declining.

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Change is coming to drug pricing, whether it’s painful or not

  • Some pharma companies have seemingly defied the emphasis on drug costs by raising drug prices.
  • Change is coming to prescription drug pricing, whether it’s painful or not for pharmaceutical companies,” Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar said in a speech Monday at a health policy conference.
  • “The drug companies that recently increased prices will be remembered for creating a tipping point in U.S. drug pricing policy,” Azar said.
  • Drug prices were raised because Wall Street is their primary customer, not patients.

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Pharma refuses to acknowledge that a storm is coming

KEY TAKEAWAY: Large majorities of Republican, Democratic and independent voters say they would be more likely to vote for candidates in this year’s midterm elections who are committed to bringing down the cost of prescription drugs according to a poll released last week by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).  Yet companies like AbbVie raised prices of drugs and are blocking generic versions of their medications.  Change is coming, but too many pharma CEO’s are still too subservient to Wall Street.  Continue reading

PhRMA defines chutzpah

(PhRMA) president and CEO Stephen J. Ubl issued the following statement on President Donald Trump’s drug pricing blueprint: “These far-reaching proposals could fundamentally change how patients access medicines and realign incentives across the entire prescription drug supply chain. While some of these proposals could help make medicines more affordable for patients, others would disrupt coverage and limit patients’ access to innovative treatments”. Folks, that is chutzpah. Continue reading

Novartis’s PR nightmare

KEY SUMMARY: “Any formal lobbying by companies of Congress or Cabinet agencies must be reported and disclosed quarterly. Novartis’s outreach to Cohen — who isn’t part of the administration, isn’t a registered lobbyist and isn’t an expert in the telecommunications or pharmaceutical industriesfalls into a secretive, gray area of influence activity that ethics experts charge is ripe for abuse.” Continue reading