[Ip-health] Further Context of Figures on Medicare's "Catastrophic" Drug Expenditure (Clarification)

PERFECT, Chase cperfect at coalitionplus.org
Wed Jul 27 03:07:52 PDT 2016

*Apologies for the redundancy, but I had left out of my original response
the (now) underlined number. *

To add some context to the figures highlighted in Zack's email (see numbers
here: http://keionline.org/node/2618), the "catastrophic" costs of Harvoni
were more than the combined "catastrophic" costs of the next *five* drugs on
the list. That is nuts. Equally absurd is the fact that Gilead's 2015 haul
on hepatitis was equivalent to 35-40% of the NIH's annual budget.

As egregious as the overspending on the drugs listed as top "catastrophic"
earners may be, I still think that the billions and billions spent on the
me-too drug Nexium represent the best example of the fact that our public
system of reimbursement is designed to advance industry's financial health.
I know that Nexium topped the spending list in 2013; it might be
interesting to calculate just how much the government has spent on Nexium
since Prilosec went off patent in 2001.

And if industry-friendly analyses are going to use inflated interest rates
to pad the present value of prior investments in drug development, we
should use the same rates in evaluating the present value of the enormous
savings that would result from a sensible procurement policy.

Chase Perfect
Access to Medicines Policy Officer
HIV/HCV Drug Affordability Project
Coalition Plus (Paris, France)

Skype ID: cperfect1984
Telephone: +1 919 801 3115

[image: PLUS - Coalition Internationale SIDA]

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