It’s hard, I mean really hard, to defend big pharma

  • Big Pharma is evading culpability for the crisis of rising prescription drug prices by point the finger at others, namely pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).
  • Many drugs receive no rebates at all, including 89 percent of Medicare Part D prescriptions. For new drugs, where the price tag can run into the hundreds of thousands a year, rebates are rarely offered because there is no direct competition in the space.
  • Putting profits before people is what big Pharma does. Brand name drug makers have hiked the prices of their products at 10 times the rate of inflation over the last five years. 
  • Drugmakers historically have blamed higher prices on the costs of research and development but didn’t use and of the $7 billion tax benefit to increase R&D.
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Change is going to be forced on big pharma

  • Republicans have indicated that they are willing to work with democrats on drug pricing initiatives.
  • Drug companies are focusing lobbying efforts to use a possible lame-duck session of Congress to peel back a legislative loss they suffered earlier this year.
  • Pharma is making a lobbying push to roll back seniors’ drug discounts at a time when they are reporting near record profits.
  • So far in 2018, PhRMA spent more than $20 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, and was the third-largest spender.

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Is big pharma being defined by external forces?

who is big pharmaPOST SUMMARY: Big pharma companies continue to be defined by a myriad of external sources from Congress, questioning high drug prices, to seemingly unorthodox behavior like putting profits over patient safety as in the Boehringer Ingelheim Pradaxa case.  However, biotech companies like Biogen continue to develop and market new drugs by tossing out the big pharma business models and focusing on patients. Continue reading