Why drug prices are so high

083115_diabetescost_THUMB_LARGEWall Street investors, from 2012 to the middle of 2015, have poured more than $50 billion in new capital into the pharma industry, according to Leerink, an investment bank that does equity research.  That influx of cash shifted the character of the industry, says John Rother, head of the nonpartisan advocacy group National Coalition on Health Care. Instead of focusing on time-consuming R&D, drug companies began worrying more about delivering short-term gains to shareholders, he explains. Continue reading

Can DTC marketing overcome drug pricing?

imagesKEY TAKEAWAY:  As drugs for many common conditions lose patent protection and face generic competition, branded drug companies increasingly are relying on revenue from drugs for serious and sometimes rare conditions, a class of medicines known as “specialty drugs.” However, these specialty drugs can cost tens of thousands of dollars but in an era of “healthcare consumerism” DTC ads are not going to help overcome sticker shock.

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Drug makers to consumers “who cares what you think”

screenshot_355KEY TAKEAWAY: The drug companies could care less about consumers and patients.  Want proof? Look no further than the dismissal of patient concerns at a meeting in San Francisco when one executive said “Gregg Alton, the executive vice president for corporate and medical affairs, joked that he goes running. Then his tone turned serious as he talked about research, innovation, and the value of life-saving new drugs. “I sleep quite well,” he concluded. Continue reading