PhRMA is just not believable anymore

KEY TAKEAWAY: PhRMA, the pharma mouthpiece, is just not believable anymore because people have access to information that clears away the propaganda they spew.

The latest PR assault on common sense from PhRMA comes in the form of a post quoting STAT news about drug prices.  What the post fails to mention is that one of the key reasons that spending on Rx medications is down is because Gilead’s Hep-C treatment is declining as patients come off the medication. However, this statistic does little when so many people still can’t afford medication.  Let’s look at some real in depth news on the prices of Rx medications:

1neA survey, by NCHS researchers Robin A. Cohen and Maria A. Villarroel, found that about [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]8% of adult Americans don’t take their medicines as prescribed because they can’t afford them.[/inlinetweet]

2wo: The total package for new cancer treatments can easily exceed a half-million dollars, and some estimate it might add up to $750,000 or more. At this rate, if all the patients who might be helped by the new $373,000 drug got it, the national cost could be $5.6 billion — more than the entire health budgets of many nations. And that’s for only about 7,500 patients.

3hree: The price of Humira, an anti-inflammatory drug dispensed in an injectable pen, has risen from about $19,000 a year in 2012, to more than $38,000 today, per patient, after rebates, according to SSR Health, a research firm. That’s an increase of 100 percent.

4our:[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””] Spending on prescription medications is higher in the US, per capita, than in any other country in the world, according to a recent Journal of the American Medical Association study. [/inlinetweet]And, the report said, those costs are “largely driven by brand-name drug prices that have been increasing in recent years at rates far beyond the consumer price index.”

5ive: [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]A Consumer Reports survey of 1,200 adults who currently take prescription medications found that in the past year, 22 percent of them—which comes to an estimated 27 million Americans—experienced a price hike for one or more of their medication[/inlinetweet]s. About a third of those people said they paid at least $50 per month extra for one or more prescriptions.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the drug industry’s trade group, spent $8 million during the first quarter of 2017, a 35 percent increase over the first quarter of 2016. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]PhRMA was the third-highest spender in the first quarter, the center’s analysis showed, moving up from No. 5 during the same period in 2016.[/inlinetweet]

The pharmaceutical industry’s top trade group responded to growing anger over rising drug costs in 2017 by upping its federal lobbying spending by 30 percent. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) increased its lobbying expenditures from $20 million in 2016 to $25.4 million in 2017. [/inlinetweet]
This comes at a time when pharma companies are using their tax cuts to buy bike stock rather than helping patients.  It seems that putting patients first indeed is just a talking point without substance.