Posts Tagged “Pricing”

Can Canadian imports lower U.S. drug prices?

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Can Canadian imports lower U.S. drug prices?

Last week, Sen. Bernie Sanders joined a caravan of people with diabetes crossing the border to Canada to buy insulin to highlight the drastic price difference of the medicine — which can be one-tenth of what it costs in the United States. A new proposal from the Trump administration could make trips like these unnecessary in the near future. The plan would allow states, pharmacies and drug manufacturers in the United States to import prescription drugs from Canada.

Why there’s debate: Proponents of the idea say access to cheaper Canadian drugs would save the lives of patients who struggle to afford the medicine they need from American sellers. Drug companies in the United States would ultimately be forced to lower their prices to compete with less expensive imports, they argue. The U.S. plan sparked significant concerns from Canadians worried that demand from the massive American market would lead to drug shortages or price increases in their country, despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pledge to maintain a “steady and solid supply” of drugs in Canada. Others point out that the plan may not apply to some of the most expensive drugs, including insulin. Skeptics on both sides of the border argue…

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USA: The Fight To Lower Soaring Drug Prices Turns Bitter Between States And The Feds

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USA: The Fight To Lower Soaring Drug Prices Turns Bitter Between States And The Feds

Frustrated by federal inaction, state lawmakers in 41 states have proposed detailed plans to lower soaring prescription drug costs. Some measures would give state Medicaid agencies more negotiating power. Others would disclose the pricing decisions of the drug manufacturers and the companies that administer prescription drug plans.

The more ambitious proposals would bump up against federal authority, such as legislation that would allow importing drugs from Canada or alter federal statutes on the prices states pay for drugs in Medicaid. They likely would have to survive a challenge in federal court. And many likely would face resistance from a deep-pocketed pharmaceutical industry.

According to the National Institute on Money and Politics, a nonprofit that collects campaign finance data, the pharmaceutical industry in 2018 contributed nearly $19 million to state campaigns, and $56 million to federal ones.

“States are limited in power in this area,” said Rachel Sachs, a health law expert at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. “But one of the impacts of these efforts is to put pressure on the federal government, and force it to justify its actions to stymie the states.”

President Donald Trump has criticized soaring drug prices, and on Thursday the Department…

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The Top 5 Issues in European Medicines Policy for 2019

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The Top 5 Issues in European Medicines Policy for 2019

Here are the top 5 EU medicines policy issues which will dominate the agenda in 2019. The fate of the Health and Food Safety Directorate General (DG Santé) and in particular that of pharmaceutical policy within the next European Commission are key uncertainties. We expect the new European Commission to be (even) more political than the current one. This means two things: a) We expect very few new pieces of legislation will be initiated by the Commission. If any, the European Commission will be inspired by and aligned with the aspirations of the most influential EU Member States in drafting any new legislation, b) if the predictions about the results of the European elections are confirmed and the European Parliament shifts further to the right, the new Commission with its limited scope and mandate might be more favourable towards business priorities and interests.

How will these developments affect decision-making in medicines’ policies? In recent years, DG Santé’s leadership kept sending mixed signals about its priorities. Instead of defending public health, Santé high-ranking officials would often sound more like representatives of DG GROW, the Commission‘s department responsible for EU policy on the single market, industry, entrepreneurship and small businesses, and they…

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WHO Report Flags Distortion of Investment and Innovation in Cancer Research

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WHO Report Flags Distortion of Investment and Innovation in Cancer Research

The report says pharmaceutical companies set prices according to their commercial goals and focus on extracting the maximum amount that a buyer is willing to pay.

High prices of cancer drugs hurting desperate patients have caught the attention of policymakers everywhere. But do high prices of medicines that provide huge financial returns to pharmaceutical companies also distort innovation?

A new cancer report by World Health Organisation (WHO) has both countries and the pharma industry debating on just how much profit cancer drugs generate for pharmaceutical companies. At stake is not only how much money the drug industry makes from high priced cancer drugs, but also, as the report suggests – is this investment really efficient? Is too much money chasing too few cancer drug candidates with only marginal benefits, diverting funds away from other therapeutic areas?

The technical report that minced no words, said that “pharmaceutical companies set prices according to their commercial goals, with a focus on extracting the maximum amount that a buyer is willing to pay for a medicine”. The industry denounced the report as flawed.

The report showed that in some cases, the return on investment on research and development fetched companies as much as $14…

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USA, MA: Charlie Baker takes on Big Pharma

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USA, MA: Charlie Baker takes on Big Pharma

Drugs — life-saving drugs — are changing lives, changing the way health care is delivered, and changing the way states, including Massachusetts, are wrestling with the rising public costs of paying for those drugs.

Last week in his proposed 2019-20 state budget, Governor Charlie Baker offered up yet another way to help control those rising prescription drug costs, promising that getting tougher not on MassHealth patients but on pharmaceutical companies could save some $80 million a year. Yes, that’s a big number — but it makes the point that this aspect of Medicaid spending is indeed a big ticket item that needs to be addressed.

That’s not surprising, given that some 1.86 million low-income residents are covered under the program — and that the cost of prescription medications are rising faster than the cost of any other aspect of health care. According to Baker’s budget team, spending on drugs under MassHealth has just about doubled since 2012, to $1.9 billion a year.

The problem, of course is not unique to Massachusetts or even to Medicaid spending. It’s one that private insurers and the federal Medicare bureaucracy are also wrestling with. And no doubt the Baker administration didn’t pick that 2012…

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WHO Holds Discussions On Roadmap For Improving Access To Medicines – Intellectual Property Watch

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WHO Holds Discussions On Roadmap For Improving Access To Medicines – Intellectual Property Watch

Unaffordable prices, unavailable medicines, a rising need for accessible noncommunicable diseases treatments – these set the stage as the World Health Organization Executive Board started discussion today on one of the more contentious issues of the week. For the Board’s approval is in particular a roadmap and action plan including a dual strategy based on safety and efficacy of health products, and their affordability.

WHO Executive Board Chair Ambassador Maria Nazareth Farani Azevêdo of Brazil WHO regional director for the South East Asia (SEARO) region Poonam Khetrapal Singh took the floor to introduce the proposed roadmap at the close of the morning session of the Executive Board, which is meeting from 24 January to 1 February.

Board members are expected to consider two documents on this topic: Medicines, vaccines and health products; Access to medicines and vaccines; and Medicines, vaccines and health products; Cancer medicines.

At the last World Health Assembly (in May 2018), member states asked that the WHO devise a roadmap and action plan to increase access to medicines, and requested that this roadmap be drafted in consultation with member states, which have been carried out, according to Singh.

The draft roadmap for 2019-2023 also reflects the aims…

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WHO calls for improved access to medicines

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WHO calls for improved access to medicines

The World Health Organisation called on countries, including Nepal, across the South-East Asia Region to take bold action to ensure all people everywhere have access to safe, efficacious, quality and affordable medical products, laying particular emphasis on the need to leverage collective strengths via greater inter-country cooperation.

“Overcoming barriers and ensuring all people everywhere can access essential medicines is one of WHO South-East Asia’s priority areas of work, and is vital to achieving universal health coverage, and with it the Sustainable Development Goal of health and well-being for all. Significant progress has been made in recent years, including the creation of the South-East Asia Regulatory Network in 2016, which pools the region’s regulatory resources to enhance the safety and quality of medicines,” Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director, WHO South-East Asia Region, said at the  70th  session of the Regional Committee being held in Male of Maldives. She stressed on the need to build on that progress and strengthen regional cooperation.

The Regional Committee is the highest decision-making body for public health in the South-East Asia Region, and includes health ministers and senior health ministry officials of the region’s 11 member countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,…

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USA: Drug-pricing policies find new momentum as ‘a 2020 thing’

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USA: Drug-pricing policies find new momentum as ‘a 2020 thing’

The next presidential primary contests are more than a year away. But presumed candidates are already trying to stake a claim to one of health care’s hot-button concerns: surging prescription drug prices.

“This is a 2020 thing,” said Dr. Peter Bach, who directs the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and tracks drug-pricing policy.

Spurred on by midterm election results that showed health care to be a deciding issue, lawmakers — some of whom have already launched presidential run exploratory committees — are pushing a bevy of new proposals and approaches.

Few if any of those ideas will likely make it to the president’s desk. Nevertheless, Senate Democrats eyeing higher office and seeking street cred in the debate are devising more innovative and aggressive strategies to take on Big Pharma.

“Democrats feel as if they’re really able to experiment,” said Rachel Sachs, an associate law professor at Washington University in St. Louis who tracks drug-pricing laws.

Some Republicans are also proposing drug-pricing reform, although experts say their approaches are generally less dramatic.

Here are some of the ideas either introduced in legislation or that senators’ offices confirmed they are considering.

Make…

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India: Use compulsory license and put ceiling to curb prices of patented medicines: Govt panel

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India: Use compulsory license and put ceiling to curb prices of patented medicines: Govt panel

In order to cut prices of patented medicines for cancer and rare diseases, a high-level government panel has made a series of far reaching recommendations including granting “compulsory license” to any Indian pharma company to produce drugs without the consent of the patent holding firms.

The report, a copy of which is with PTI, also recommended putting a ceiling price on life-saving medicines after analysing the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) of various countries, a standard followed in majority of the western world to fix medicine prices.

Multinational pharmaceutical companies sell most of the patented drugs in India and they have been vehemently opposing any sort of price cap or grant of compulsory licensing to any other company to produce drugs being sold by them.

The Indian pharmaceutical market has an annual turnover of around Rs 2.3 lakh crore. While majority of these revenues come from sales of generic drugs, around 30 per cent of it comes from patented drugs.

The committee noted that the prices of patented anti-cancer and antifungal drugs are “on the higher side” and cited the example of Rs 1 lakh being the price for just one injection for cancer treatment.

It said there is a need…

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USA: Surging drug prices poised to become hot-button issue in 2020 race

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USA: Surging drug prices poised to become hot-button issue in 2020 race

The next presidential primary contests are more than a year away. But presumed candidates are already trying to stake a claim to one of health care’s hot-button concerns: surging prescription drug prices.

“This is a 2020 thing,” said Dr. Peter Bach, who directs the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and tracks drug-pricing policy.

Spurred on by midterm election results that showed health care to be a deciding issue, lawmakers — some of whom have already launched presidential run exploratory committees — are pushing a bevy of new proposals and approaches. Few if any of those ideas will likely make it to the president’s desk. Nevertheless, Senate Democrats eyeing higher office and seeking street cred in the debate are devising more innovative and aggressive strategies to take on Big Pharma.

“Democrats feel as if they’re really able to experiment,” said Rachel Sachs, an associate law professor at Washington University in St. Louis who tracks drug-pricing laws.

Some Republicans are also proposing drug-pricing reform, although experts say their approaches are generally less dramatic.

Here are some of the ideas either introduced in legislation or that senators’ offices confirmed they are considering.

Make…

Read More

Read more »