Cost of healthcare in the U.S.

Why a prescription medication can cost $1000 per pill

cost of HepcPOST SUMMARY: What is a “fair price” for a medication and who should decide the cost to our healthcare system?  Drug prices are once again coming under scrutiny even though they only account for 10-12% of every healthcare dollar spent. The question comes down to this “are healthcare companies public companies functioning within a capitalist environment or are price controls going to be instituted thus limiting costs and revenues?” Continue reading »

A grassroots effort for pharma to help people

pharmahealthwagonPOST SUMMARY: While the pharmaceutical industry gives away a lot of free medications, it’s time  to go beyond this measure and reach out to the people and patients who need medical care, and prescription drugs, with a combined grassroots effort that demonstrates that the bottom line is people not profits. Continue reading »

Response to Times editorial on drug importation

0126_pills-money_416x4162POST SUMMARY: The NY Times, in an editorial today, left out some key information on compliance and drug costs as they try to support the importation of prescription drugs from outside the U.S..  The editorial suggests that patients should be allowed to purchase prescription drugs from pharmacies outside the U.S. and it suggests that scare” tactics, designed to bring up issues around drug quality, are unwarranted. .   Continue reading »

Higher patient co-pays impact compliance and health

Right about now a lot of people are walking around in shock because of the increased costs of employer sponsored health plans next year.  Not only are they going to have more taken out of their paychecks but, in most cases, they are going to be paying more for doctor visits and medications.  What is the impact to patient health ? Continue reading »

The cost of Gilead’s new drug

high-healcare-costsPOST SUMMARY: A new pill to treat hepatitis C raises difficult questions about fair pricing. Hepatitis C, which afflicts some 150 million people globally, often without symptoms for years, can cause fatigue and fever, cirrhosis or liver cancer. (Via NY Times).  The key question is who should pay the costs of this drug because of high risk behavior that could lead to contacting Hep-C? Continue reading »

The new business model of healthcare-Is pharma left out?

aetnaceoAetna CEO Bertolini outlined the ‘Creative Destruction’ Of Healthcare At HIMSS14 and it looks like pharma marketers may be left out.  He went on to say ““healthcare premiums are growing at four-times the rate of inflation. Currently today – through both premium sharing and benefit costs – employees are paying 41% of the healthcare dollar. If the trend line continues over the next 3-5 years – employees will be paying more than 50%.”  His idea to fix this problem is creative destruction and pharma marketers are not in the equation. Continue reading »

Non-Adherence Tied To High Copays

Patient_Adherence_Page2-resizedBurdensome cost sharing is linked with a 70% increase in the risk of discontinuing Gleevec,Tasigna or Sprycel among patients with chronic myeloid leukemia and a 42% increased risk of inadequate adherence, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.   In addition higher prescription co-payments were associated with both nonpersistence and nonadherence to aromatase inhibitors. This relationship was stronger in older women. Because noncompliance is associated with worse outcomes, future policy efforts should be directed toward interventions that would help patients with financial difficulties obtain life-saving medications. Continue reading »

Oncology drugs: Proving value ?

eyepharmaA good report from Eye for Pharma on oncology drugs.   While nearly every division of the industry has come under fire because of high healthcare costs, one therapeutic area that has continued to win premium reimbursement is oncology. Historically, cancer drugs have enjoyed premium pricing and widespread off-label usage because of their designation for patients with generally incurable diseases. Furthermore, new drugs have been rapidly adopted despite weak clinical evidence and overall questionable value. Thus, it is not surprising that spending on these drugs in the U.S. has risen at twice the rate of total drug spending in recent years.  Is this about to change? Continue reading »

Wanted: courageous pharma CEO’s

rxresearchFrom Forbes comes this wake-up call; U.S. share of global pharmaR&D spending has fallen from 51.2% in 2007 to 45.4% in 2012. Europe’s investment was essentially unchanged and Asia’s increased from 18.1% to 23.8%. Further digging into the numbers revealed the following. “The decline of $12.0 billion in the inflation-adjusted U.S. expenditures from 2007 to 2012 was therefore driven by a $12.9 billion reduction in industry’s investment in R&D. Continue reading »

Generic drug prices: Patients paying the price

imgresPrices on more than a dozen generics have soared at least 10-fold over the past 12 months. Off-patent medicines saved patients in the U.S. $193 billion in 2011 and more than $1 trillion since 2002, says the Generic Pharmaceutical Association. Yet their cost containment effect has diminished noticeably this year, according to Express Scripts Holding, the largest processor of prescription drug claims in the U.S. Its index of the most-often-prescribed generic drugs shows the annual rate at which prices have been falling slowed to 14 percent in September, from 30 percent in January. Continue reading »

Why physicians have to treat the “whole person”

imagesFrom 2000 to 2011, U.S. health care spending increased from $1.6 trillion to $2.7 trillion — a big leap owing almost completely to factors other than increased demand, from the elderly or anyone else. More than nine in 10 of those dollars spent, the study found, paid for higher treatment and drug costs. Costs incurred to treat some illnesses have jumped dramatically. The U.S. government, private insurance companies and patients collectively spent $109 billion in 2010 to treat heart conditions, for example. That’s up from $72 billion in 2000. More than $40 billion was spent to treat back pain in 2010, up from 22 billion in 2010. It’s now more important for medical professionals to treat the whole patient, not just specific conditions. Continue reading »