Posts Tagged “Nevada”

Big Pharma abandons lawsuit over Nevada’s insulin pricing transparency law

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Big Pharma abandons lawsuit over Nevada’s insulin pricing transparency law

Two national drug lobbying organizations dropped a lawsuit Thursday challenging the constitutionality of Nevada’s first-in-the-nation insulin pricing transparency law a little less than a month after the state approved regulations allowing drug companies to protect certain information they turn over to the state from public disclosure.

Attorneys representing two associations and the state agreed in a joint court filing that the newly adopted regulations resolve drug companies’ concerns that the new law would require manufacturers of diabetes drugs to disclose trade secret-protected information in conflict with federal law and in violation of the U.S. Constitution. The decision to abandon a legal fight comes nine months after the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) challenged the law in U.S. District Court.

PhRMA’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel James Stansel said in a statement Thursday that the regulations addressed the “most significant legal flaw” in the legislation and that it had agreed to drop its lawsuit “given the changes to the interpretation and implementation of the law.” However, he noted that the association was doing so while “specifically reserving rights to reinstitute the litigation in the future.”

In the joint filing, both sides agreed…

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How Maine seniors can see lower drug prices

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How Maine seniors can see lower drug prices

Patricia Bernard of Falmouth has unwittingly become the face of American seniors facing high drug costs.

Sen. Susan Collins recently invited Bernard to tell her story before the Senate Aging Committee, which Collins chairs. Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis 25 years ago, Bernard worked until age 79 to keep her employer-sponsored health insurance plan that allowed her to purchase the medication she needed for between $10 and $30 a month.

“I felt so much better,” Bernard said of the medication. “It truly gave me my life back. I was no longer aching and in agony. I was finally able to live an ordinary life and I started taking the stairs just because I could.”

But upon retirement she faced a monthly out-of-pocket cost of $3,800 for the same drug. This drug price spike had nothing to do with a change in the underlying cost of the medicine, but everything to do with the insurance design. Medicare would not cover her self-injected medication, but as an alternative, Bernard is being treated for her condition with an infusion medication that Medicare does cover in an outpatient hospital. Despite the inconvenience, it’s affordable.

How can state and federal legislators lower drug prices afflicting Bernard…

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Big Pharma’s lobbyists are losing despite their ‘pass the buck’ campaigns

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Big Pharma’s lobbyists are losing despite their ‘pass the buck’ campaigns

As policymakers and the administration focus on high drug prices, the brand drugmaker lobby has responded by unleashing millions of dollars in an attempt to shift blame.

They’ve blamed price gouging scandals on a “broken system” and claim to want to reform. They bankroll more than 1,400 lobbyists along with many “patient groups” and so-called “experts” to carry these messages to the media outlets and politicians on whom they lavish millions in advertising dollars and campaign contributions.

However, their polling numbers remain as low as before their advertising blitz began as Americans have overwhelmingly negative views of drugmakers and the pricing schemes of “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli and others who increased drug prices simply because they found that they could.

The response from the drugmaker lobby has been to rollout slick public relations slogans like “Share the Savings” and “Let’s Talk About Cost” that use fancy infographics in an attempt to move the conversation away from those setting the price of the drug (drug companies) to everyone else who uses or pays for their products, like employers, hospitals, pharmacy benefit managers, insurers, and others.

This isn’t surprising and certainly not unpredictable, but ignores the basic challenge facing drug companies: no…

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Amazon Said To Be Eyeing Pharmacy Business

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Alexa might want to be your drugstore, too: Amazon (AMZN) reportedly has obtained pharmacy licenses in a handful of states, hinting at possible plans to disrupt both the drugstore business and the larger healthcare industry.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the e-commerce giant has received wholesale pharmacy licenses in at least 12 states, including Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Idaho, Louisiana,  Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, and Tennessee. Some states require the permits to sell “professional use only” medical devices to medical and dental practices such as procedure trays, sutures, and syringes.

Amazon’s potential entry into the pharmaceutical business spurred drug store and pharmaceutical benefits manager CVS (CVS) to make a $66 billion offer for health insurer Aetna (AET), according to the Wall Street Journal, As the Journal noted, most prescriptions are filled in bricks-and-mortar pharmacies though patients with chronic conditions are encouraged by insurers to get their medications through mail-order dispensaries.

According to CNBC, Amazon expects to decide by Thanksgiving whether it will begin selling prescription drugs online. Morningstar analyst Vishnu Lekraj, however, is skeptical about reports linking Amazon to the business of selling medications.

“I don’t believe that obtaining wholesale licenses in a handful of states really portends a major…

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Drug industry on tenterhooks as Maryland price-gouging law nears

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Drug industry on tenterhooks as Maryland price-gouging law nears

As U.S. consumer outrage grows over prescription drug prices, state authorities and patient advocates in Maryland are preparing to enforce the nation’s first law designed to punish drugmaker price-gouging.

The state Attorney General’s office said it will field complaints and investigate “unconscionable increases” in essential generic medicines when the closely watched law takes effect Oct. 1.

Drugmakers fear the Maryland law will embolden other states and are seeking a court injunction. Both sides made their arguments on Thursday before a U.S. District Court judge in Baltimore, who could decide on an injunction in the coming days.

Anticipating the law will survive the legal challenge, the Attorney General’s office said it is working with health economists at Johns Hopkins University to identify price spikes, which are not made public by drugmakers. Patient advocacy groups are urging consumers to report increased costs for their medicines. Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative will add an option to report price gouging to its website.

Pharmaceutical companies have so far dodged stricter federal oversight despite growing outrage over price hikes. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc ( VRX.TO ) raised the price of heart medications Isuprel by about 720 percent and Nitropress by 310 percent, after acquiring them in…

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