Chutzpah. It’s the only way to describe Merck’s plan to sue the government over the plan to negotiate drug prices, saying it is unconstitutional. Merck said in the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., that Medicare’s drug-price negotiation program violated the company’s First and Fifth Amendment rights. This is a prime example of what’s wrong with pharma.
Category Archive: Bad Pharma
Horizon’s CEO, Tim Walbert, will reportedly get around $135 million when the company is sold to Amgen. He has mastered a particular kind of industry expertise: taking drugs invented and tested by other people, wrapping them expertly in hard-nosed marketing and warm-hued patient relations, raising their prices, and enjoying astounding revenues without spending one dime on drug development.
Chutzpah is defined as “extreme self-confidence or audacity.” In AbbVie’s case, it’s audacity. AbbVie, for years, delayed competition for its blockbuster drug Humira at the expense of patients and taxpayers.
Patient advocates on Tuesday blasted the Biden administration’s refusal to compel the manufacturer of a lifesaving prostate cancer drug developed entirely with public funds to lower its nearly $190,000 annual price tag. The drug’s development was 100% taxpayer-funded. Yet a one-year supply of Xtandi currently costs $189,800 in the United States.
President Biden successfully got insulin costs capped at $35 per month for Medicare recipients. But corporate sellout Democrats in the House and Kirsten Sinema in the Senate — along with every Republican — blocked his efforts to extend that to all Americans with diabetes. This is what happens when big pharma has no conscious.
“This is the golden age of drug discovery,” said Dr. Daniel Skovronsky, chief scientific and medical officer of Eli Lilly and Company. The burden on patients who cannot afford life-changing new drugs weighs heavily on him and others who work for drug companies. Really?
I’m not sure where to start. Yesterday I read a post on LinkedIn from someone who retired from our industry and is fighting MLS. She’s fighting with Medicare Advantage over treatment which will cost her $9,300 out-of-pocket. She asks, “why develop new treatments and make them only accessible to commercially insured patients?” She says, “as a past Pharma exec, we say a lot about putting the patient at the center of all we do and being patient-focused. But, I can tell you – sitting on the other side, being a patient with ALS – and constantly fighting for care – patients are not the most important priority. Sad to realize this.”
How much is enough? Moderna plans a 4,000% Markup for their Covid vaccine. This vaccine isn’t just Moderna’s; it was developed in collaboration with a government agency. “The sheer greed is obscene,” said PVA policy co-lead Julia Kosgei, who stressed that “billions of taxpayer dollars went into the development of mRNA vaccines.” Moderna’s vaccine would not exist without funding from U.S. taxpayers.