It’s time for action on prescription drug prices

May-LogoKEY TAKEAWAY: Prescription drug prices jumped 38 percent in the last 10 years, compared to an 18 percent increase in general inflation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s time to let Medicare negotiate prescription drug prices like Canada and Britain, which do negotiate with drug makers.

Having worked in pharma and medical devices for over 15 years I never thought that I would call for Medicare to  negotiate prescription drug prices, but big pharma has violated the trust of the public and continues to demonstrate that stock prices are more important than patients.

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Pharmaceutical companies have also stopped competition by paying one another to delay the introduction of generic drugs which now account for 90% of all Rx’s.  In fact prices of generic medications have increased in triple digits because of a combination of pay for delay and industry consolidation,

Of course, Congress is ideologically opposed to giving the government more control because the drug industry donates a lot of money to political campaigns. For example, Roche, gave over $5 million and was only fined $67 million in a recent whistle blower case even though the product in question generated billions of dollars in sales.

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It’s a shame that a few irresponsible CEO’s and companies are bringing so much shame on an industry that has helped us live longer with better quality of lives but until we are able to negotiate prices greedy drug company executives will continue to bring disgrace to an industry that just doesn’t seem to care what people think about them.