Some healthcare facts we all should know

  • In a partisan political climate, leaders on both sides of the aisle have identified an urgent challenge: the price of prescription drugs. The average American pays approximately $1,200 a year for prescriptions – and that figure represents out-of-pocket costs alone.
  • Here are some facts and stats that sometimes get overlooked in the debate.
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Most people said they trust drug companies to come up with new and effective drugs

  • Most people — 71% — said they trust drug companies to come up with new and effective drugs.
  • But 80% said industry profits are a major factor in high drug prices.
  • 75% said it’s easy to afford their prescriptions, and 45% said they pay less than $25 per month. Unsurprisingly, poorer people and those in worse health had a harder time covering their bills. Source: Kaiser Family Foundation
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Why is pharma so addicted to growth?

  • As sales of Merck & Co.’s immuno-oncology heavy hitter Keytruda soared 66% in the fourth quarter to $2.15 billion, surpassing Wall Street’s expectations they were knocked because analysts want to know ‘what’s next”?
  • Pharma is obsessed with fighting and winning and dominating even if it means making bad business decisions.
  • The wisdom of setting business goals—always striving for bigger and better—is so established within pharma that it seems like the only thing left to debate is whether the goals are ambitious enough.
  • Pharma is suffering from ambition hyperinflation.
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Pharma still blaming drug middlemen for obscene prices

  • Pharma, which used to cite the high cost of research, now say rebates within supply chain drive up prices.
  • Pharma says they don’t actually benefit much from list-price increases and that their net prices are suffering, because they are paying bigger rebates to pharmacy-benefit managers that negotiate prices in secret with their clients, such as employers and labor unions.
  • Drugmakers’ price increases are unrelated to the rebates, according to research commissioned by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, a trade group for PBMs.
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Pharma is obsessed with dominating

  • Companies that live in such a zero-sum world don’t “earn market share” from a competitor, they “conquer the market.” 
  • They don’t just serve their customers, they “capture” them and they don’t treat them like customers.
  • It’s easier to buy competitors than invest in R&D now.
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While CPG brands move digital in-house, pharma continues to rely on agencies

  •  91% of brands have moved at least a part of their digital marketing operations in-house. (Source: Search Engine Journal)
  • Cost efficiency, greater control, and increased transparency are amongst the biggest reasons for in-housing.
  •  56% of respondents say a lack of existing talent and skills to build a competent in-house team in the biggest obstacle.
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How is Pfizer employee morale?

  • 41 of Pfizer’s drugs have been picked for a price hike on January 15, averaging 5%.
  • Pfizer noted Friday that the increases will be offset by higher rebates and discounts offered to insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers.
  • Pfizer had the highest profit total ($4.1 billion) of any publicly traded health care company in the third quarter.

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