[Ip-health] U.S. Senate: Drug prices too high

Ruth Lopert ruth.lopert at gmail.com
Tue Dec 22 07:17:13 PST 2015


The US needs to regulate prices - either directly or indirectly. I can't
see how 'negotiating' alone will make much difference unless there is
leverage, and willingness to walk away from the negotiation.

On Sun, Dec 20, 2015 at 2:08 PM, Ellen Shaffer <ershaffer at cpath.org> wrote:

> The hearing by the Senate Committee on Aging
> <
> http://www.aging.senate.gov/press-releases/senate-aging-committee-holds-1st-hearing-on-off-patent-rx-drug-price-spikes-
> >,
> led by Sens. Collins and McCaskill, presents impressive documentation that
> drug prices are exorbitant, and that stimulating competition is an
> inadequate solution, including from generics.  Generics are not available
> for many medicines, including those off-patent; quality varies; and even
> generic prices may be high. Debates on patent term lengths are important
> but skirt the central problem. Voluntary "discount" programs by drug cos.
> are window dressing. The U.S. government must have the authority to
> negotiate prices, if not to outright set prices, as do other countries with
> equal or better results for innovation.
>
>
> http://www.aging.senate.gov/press-releases/senate-aging-committee-holds-1st-hearing-on-off-patent-rx-drug-price-spikes-
>
> Senate Aging Committee Holds 1st Hearing on Off-Patent Rx Drug Price Spikes
> COMMITTEE EXAMINES CAUSES, IMPACTS, AND POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS TO DRAMATIC
> PRICE INCREASES OF OFF-PATENT DRUGSWednesday, December 9, 2015
>
> Click HERE
> <
> http://email.prnewswire.com/wf/click?upn=J6qBPRVgziwoCR2OIJDNfVqt7DYgFcv5-2FETn5EzMeD6vQ1EMdqpZ-2BiVG15BGbxfI3BeGKPHjCJrbpRs9oIhxph5nadeEDp7k439SzbaoItM-3D_3JD5Sj2EQq2uoUbP9uH12ECLf3oNLZBMKHlw6TtF0qUBQN5Df27XMbgQuqOYqLz3bjaVDWePZdMXksFTmqWDqCeYhKhRsA58FdbyJ0UzFAMNvkNYgV-2BeXaXTrn2wJ5q9RWIrMHu2-2BeTmHQuGCCrFwydCurYlzaSOrGYHB8WDTG8sLcn-2BIcLYgTgyOtulTWMbKwKFoEF659m-2BhoTf6rOejpAfJ5ctkeEia3S00W8pQpjT3ebv0MsnFC86F6DZFm68lOtOljpuSzEguw-2BSauNmLk5l0PHUo-2Bmk9kc0N0i25I0pEpUaiGFTYTD8NO-2B02lTh5gYzWtzv45cjs1OjJrVe3-2BR2t0c6Wp-2BOfRir77fqMCQ-3D
> >
> for
> a copy of Senator Collins’ opening statement
> Click HERE
> <
> http://email.prnewswire.com/wf/click?upn=J6qBPRVgziwoCR2OIJDNfVqt7DYgFcv5-2FETn5EzMeD6vQ1EMdqpZ-2BiVG15BGbxfI-2BEcppiBNcWTiDcHA-2FsONr600O8NIXlPt7G9KqGKuO9k-3D_3JD5Sj2EQq2uoUbP9uH12ECLf3oNLZBMKHlw6TtF0qUBQN5Df27XMbgQuqOYqLz3bjaVDWePZdMXksFTmqWDqCeYhKhRsA58FdbyJ0UzFAMNvkNYgV-2BeXaXTrn2wJ5q9RWIrMHu2-2BeTmHQuGCCrFwydCurYlzaSOrGYHB8WDTG8sLcn-2BIcLYgTgyOtulTWMbKwKFoEF659m-2BhoTf6rOejmNuL9wbF7DklKhgGgyooeHJ7uJtlOvVHxXbJC6WsbpSOtD4pSCUoo8SnMvkh8UB6M7LkYAXQiVtrp4tOcyAFj9nBg3dPxhD98FpaD-2BpHmDFfdFIVxqn9G0oWmBkOOyyy3nWJxXv4L5XjGUqL0lToGM-3D
> >
> for
> a copy of Senator McCaskill’ s opening statement
>
> Washington, D.C.—The Senate Special Committee on Aging, led by Chairman
> Susan Collins and Ranking Member Claire McCaskill, held the first in a
> series of hearings the Committee will conduct to investigate recent
> instances of abrupt and dramatic price increases in prescription drugs that
> are no longer protected by patents. The hearing, titled *Sudden Price
> Spikes in Off-Patent Drugs: Perspectives from the Front Lines*, began the
> Committee’s bipartisan examination of this issue.
>
>      “Prescription drugs are vital to the health and well-being of all
> Americans, especially our nation’s seniors, 90 percent of whom take at
> least one prescription drug in any given month,” said Senator Collins. “For
> many decades, federal policy has sought to strike the right balance between
> maintaining the incentives needed to promote innovation and the development
> of new drugs and keeping medicines affordable.  That balance we have struck
> never anticipated companies acquiring off-patent drugs and then jacking up
> their prices to enormous heights, and doing so, as one executive
> essentially put it, ‘because I can.’  In some instances, these price
> increases have negatively affected patients’ and doctors’ access to
> off-patent drugs.  One goal of our bipartisan investigation is to
> understand why such companies can impose egregious price increases on
> off-patent drugs they have acquired and what policies we should consider to
> counter this disturbing practice.”
>
>       “There’s a line at which huge price increases on prescription drugs
> go from rewarding innovation to price gouging,” said Senator McCaskill. “In
> particular, when these price hikes occur without any therapeutic changes or
> improvements to the drug, it raises troubling questions about whether
> companies are taking advantage of the patients who depend on their products
> for survival.”
>
>       This year alone, Americans are expected to spend more than $328
> billion on prescription drugs.  Of this amount, individuals will pay about
> $50 billion out-of-pocket.  The federal government will pick up another
> $110 billion in payments through Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Affairs, and
> other programs.
>
>       Witnesses for the hearing included: Dr. Erin Fox, Director, Drug
> Information Service, University of Utah Health Care and Adjunct Associate
> Professor, University of Utah College of Pharmacy, Dept. of
> Pharmacotherapy;  Dr. David Kimberlin, Professor and Vice Chair for
> Clinical and Translational Research and Co-Director, Division of Pediatric
> Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, University of Alabama at
> Birmingham;Dr. Gerard Anderson, Professor, Health Policy and Management,
> Medicine, and International Health, Johns Hopkins University; and Mr. Mark
> Merritt, President & Chief Executive Officer, Pharmaceutical Care
> Management Association.
>
>
> Click HERE
> <
> http://email.prnewswire.com/wf/click?upn=J6qBPRVgziwoCR2OIJDNfVqt7DYgFcv5-2FETn5EzMeD6vQ1EMdqpZ-2BiVG15BGbxfI0lld1likDe1GpQRZgA-2BxD8P6CvM-2F-2BtI0nZ0RIXndc0w-3D_3JD5Sj2EQq2uoUbP9uH12ECLf3oNLZBMKHlw6TtF0qUBQN5Df27XMbgQuqOYqLz3bjaVDWePZdMXksFTmqWDqCeYhKhRsA58FdbyJ0UzFAMNvkNYgV-2BeXaXTrn2wJ5q9RWIrMHu2-2BeTmHQuGCCrFwydCurYlzaSOrGYHB8WDTG8sLcn-2BIcLYgTgyOtulTWMbKwKFoEF659m-2BhoTf6rOejuK4f4BuTtMHYticAVduEVVMC8GhHmnuUr3OBeD9Nb298BPvql42y1x3eTf2AgF0JNaS2VfRWOQbW5e-2BKK7K4E-2F-2FKkuu5n3LCR62Bg0RsM-2BP4fpyzK0t4TDkNp37QjQrobMIZz-2FjVoKaUnWAZIicUgE-3D
> >
> for
> a copy Dr. Erin Fox’s testimony
> Click HERE
> <
> http://email.prnewswire.com/wf/click?upn=J6qBPRVgziwoCR2OIJDNfVqt7DYgFcv5-2FETn5EzMeD6vQ1EMdqpZ-2BiVG15BGbxfIa-2BLEvK5sjQcFnwQBbbYv2L7fJzpSyiZkIsAWjEpRYs0-3D_3JD5Sj2EQq2uoUbP9uH12ECLf3oNLZBMKHlw6TtF0qUBQN5Df27XMbgQuqOYqLz3bjaVDWePZdMXksFTmqWDqCeYhKhRsA58FdbyJ0UzFAMNvkNYgV-2BeXaXTrn2wJ5q9RWIrMHu2-2BeTmHQuGCCrFwydCurYlzaSOrGYHB8WDTG8sLcn-2BIcLYgTgyOtulTWMbKwKFoEF659m-2BhoTf6rOejtW6lYQMZMBp0R7FpKXUA4YSNpZLUdQlTFQ2wLgFTBCdDRyGtcDaxrXv2aAyYN0l1fHJPerfdp0wF-2FEz4JWF8MSWF6swrdnS8xx-2FEx1u8JxyEQYE2n3y3yV6g-2BqQcCjyM6B9n4wfFIRT24bphlN-2BuWI-3D
> >
> for
> a copy of Dr. David Kimberlin’s testimony
> Click HERE
> <
> http://email.prnewswire.com/wf/click?upn=J6qBPRVgziwoCR2OIJDNfVqt7DYgFcv5-2FETn5EzMeD6vQ1EMdqpZ-2BiVG15BGbxfIhyneEhjFW1vN-2F2fQCYPfMB-2FwHJVCFmrGHfIs7YF7bLc-3D_3JD5Sj2EQq2uoUbP9uH12ECLf3oNLZBMKHlw6TtF0qUBQN5Df27XMbgQuqOYqLz3bjaVDWePZdMXksFTmqWDqCeYhKhRsA58FdbyJ0UzFAMNvkNYgV-2BeXaXTrn2wJ5q9RWIrMHu2-2BeTmHQuGCCrFwydCurYlzaSOrGYHB8WDTG8sLcn-2BIcLYgTgyOtulTWMbKwKFoEF659m-2BhoTf6rOejgb-2FIrB7AnFJxTpW3228m0-2BOxfuEWzIZ4mdmsPrEvUat-2F0T1bZrOhm2H3B8DHGqsCl4v9qltGx4Ir2bbj2eYxc5aKBasDXEZUMyvMw56gAMyXmlGfQo0Eo02mHwgucZsSYv4IQTjn0waWjqX6994HRc-3D
> >
> for
> a copy of Dr. Gerard Anderson’s testimony
> Click HERE
> <
> http://email.prnewswire.com/wf/click?upn=J6qBPRVgziwoCR2OIJDNfVqt7DYgFcv5-2FETn5EzMeD6vQ1EMdqpZ-2BiVG15BGbxfIAKpWrnlxcUmCRqyx-2BJ0T4i-2F5CA4VgKwBN6IOyAZGMGM-3D_3JD5Sj2EQq2uoUbP9uH12ECLf3oNLZBMKHlw6TtF0qUBQN5Df27XMbgQuqOYqLz3bjaVDWePZdMXksFTmqWDqCeYhKhRsA58FdbyJ0UzFAMNvkNYgV-2BeXaXTrn2wJ5q9RWIrMHu2-2BeTmHQuGCCrFwydCurYlzaSOrGYHB8WDTG8sLcn-2BIcLYgTgyOtulTWMbKwKFoEF659m-2BhoTf6rOejsqJ0tOjHJXKbaLqXupJfHFcefZtwH4iNtnXodEHDTzDpqPEz4PXqeJ4-2FSky25ax7BioIvHuxyTLTtgl3umAZ1OSeDBMSPuQNfBhzjoVxEWIXjrLtP7ykM3sEdR5pOC6byUUJ09GZDb-2FoKj99qxAPi8-3D
> >
> for
> a copy of Mr. Mark Merritt’s testimony
> - Ellen Shaffer
>
>
> --
> Dr. Ellen R. Shaffer, PhD MPH
> Asst. Clinical Professor, UCSF
> Co-Director, Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health/CPATH
> P.O. Box 29586
> San Francisco, CA 94129-0586
> Phone 415-922-6204
> www.cpath.org
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