The media attempts to bring more heat on big pharma

  • According to JAMA “annual health care marketing surged from $17.7 billion in 1997 to at least $29.9 billion in 2016, driven by a rapid spike in spending on direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertisements for prescription drugs. Over this period, DTC spending climbed from $2.1 billion to $9.6 billion.
  • The most rapid increase was in direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising, which increased from $2.1 billion (11.9%) of total spending in 1997 to $9.6 billion (32.0%) of total spending in 2016. DTC prescription drug advertising increased from $1.3 billion (79 000 ads) to $6 billion (4.6 million ads [including 663 000 TV commercials]), with a shift toward advertising high-cost biologics and cancer immunotherapies.
  • Even if all prescription drugs were free healthcare costs would still be increasing.
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Straight talk on drug pricing

  • While there is no excuse for the price increases on some drugs, like insulin other price increases are not aimed at consumers. They are aimed at PBM’s and insurers who are seeing their profits increase at a rapid rate.
  • Americans are among the most unhealthy in the world.
  • Millennials are so overweight, it has them on pace to be part of the most obese generation in history.
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About those drug price hikes…

  • Pharma is starting 2019 with a slew of price hikes, affecting more than 1,000 medications.
  • The average increase amounts to about 6 percent.
  • Price increases do not directly translate to increased profits. Most of the increases are on list price, or wholesale acquisition cost and are lost through a competitive rebating and contracting process with insurers, pharmacy benefit managers and the government, among others.
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Challenges await pharma in 2019

  • A Kaiser Family Foundation poll last March found that 80 percent of the country believes that prescription drug prices are unreasonable.
  • Drug spending in the United States is slowing. Retail prescription drugs represent just 10 percent of the $3.5 trillion the nation spent on health care in 2017, according the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. That’s an increase of just 0.4 percent.
  • 90 percent of prescriptions in the United States are less-expensive generic copies of brand-name drugs.
  • 83 percent of Americans insured by their employer had a plan with at least three prescription drug tiers, according to the Kaiser Foundation. The average co-pay for the highest tier was $110.
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Reducing cancer risk by 40%

  • Avoiding bacon and alcohol could help reduce the risk of cancer up to 40%, experts suggested as they unveiled what has been dubbed the “blueprint” to beat the disease.
  • obesity likely to overtake smoking as the “number one risk factor for cancer” within decades.
  • There is now strong evidence excessive weight is the cause of at least 12 cancers, five more than when the last WCRF recommendations were published in 2007.
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