Posts filed under Drugs

It Costs What!? Why Prices Rise and Fall - and Why We Don’t Need Pharma Price Controls

Photo source: PJ Media

Photo source: PJ Media

Recently we've been hearing politicians such as Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) chomping at the bit to put price controls on pharmaceutical drugs, with almost no sense of economics or history about how prices change over time.

In 1926, a nice radio cost $7,175 (in 2019 dollars), and it took up more space than the giant flat screen you probably have in the family room. Speaking of TVs, in 2007, a 50-inch HDTV cost $7,046 (models of the same size and with much better quality go for about $250 today). In the "golden age" of airplane travel, tickets cost at least double today's prices. In 1975, buying and selling stock cost $100 per transaction (it's now less than $5). And calling your aunt in Los Angeles from New York for ten minutes cost $27.75. The same call now is practically free -- 2.3 cents per minute -- or actually free, with a service like Skype. One measly megabyte of computer memory cost $411 million in 1957 -- now the same amount costs less than a single penny.

Read more: It Costs What!? Why Prices Rise and Fall - and Why We Don’t Need Pharma Price Controls

Posted on September 10, 2019 and filed under Drugs.

Citizens Against Government Waste Rejects HHS Plan on Foreign Drug Importation

Photo source: CAGW

Photo source: CAGW

“No HHS Secretary or Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under either party has ever confirmed that importing pharmaceuticals would keep Americans safe from dangerous counterfeit drugs, including the opioids that have caused so much destruction across our country. Indeed, both President Trump and HHS Secretary Alex Azar expressed their objections to this concept in 2018. The President said in October that ‘we don’t like getting [drugs] from other countries’ because ‘we don’t know … how they’re being made.’ Secretary Azar said in May 2018 that ‘importing drugs from other countries, such as Canada … is a gimmick,’ citing the miniscule savings calculated by the Congressional Budget Office. The HHS proposal would expose Americans to potentially adulterated drugs and encourage unscrupulous actors to get more involved in drug importation. It would hurt U.S. biopharmaceutical research and development. The plan also ignores Canadian warnings that the country has no interest in supplying Americans with their drugs, citing concerns over shortages. Instead of pursuing this ineffective and potentially dangerous policy, the administration should work with Congress to increase free market incentives and competition in public-sector drug benefit plans, speed up generic drug approvals, modernize clinical trial designs to encourage competition, and write better trade deals to ensure foreign countries pay a fair share of U.S.-funded biopharmaceutical research and development, rather than free-riding on our discoveries.”

Read more: Citizens Against Government Waste Rejects HHS Plan on Foreign Drug Importation

Posted on August 2, 2019 and filed under Drugs.

CCAGW Thanks Chairman Grassley for Opposing Foreign Price-Controlled Drugs

Dear Senator Grassley,

On behalf of the more than 1 million members and supporters of Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I am writing to thank you for opposing the Trump administration’s proposed International Pricing Index (IPI) model, an ill-advised regulatory effort that would base Medicare Part B pricing on foreign price-controlled drugs.  CCAGW agrees with your statement, “I don’t think that this administration's approach on international pricing is going to be to the benefit of the adoption of and research for modern drugs.”

Read more: CCAGW Thanks Chairman Grassley for Opposing Foreign Price-Controlled Drugs

Posted on July 1, 2019 and filed under Drugs.

Drug Price Arbitration Is Not a Solution for Patients

If a top-down, command and control approach sounds like a good idea, ask yourself why we don’t convene such “arbitration” panels to set the price for cars, houses or groceries? A price set by a government-established panel is not the way our free market system normally operates, where buyers and sellers are free to participate, or not, at willingly agreed to rates.

Read more:  Drug Price Arbitration Is Not a Solution for Patients

Posted on June 23, 2019 and filed under Drugs.

Grassley has an opportunity for bipartisan success for patients

Photo source: Wikipedia  

Photo source: Wikipedia  

The Senate Finance Committee recently took the first step in ensuring greater transparency and accountability in our drug supply chain by investigating the business practices of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).

Ranking member Sen. Ron Wyden said in his opening statement: “What PBMs do to earn all those profits is a mystery.”

Read more:  Grassley has an opportunity for bipartisan success for patients

Posted on June 10, 2019 and filed under Drugs.

The Drug Rebate Rule: What’s the Budget Impact?

Numerous actuarial studies were conducted to analyze the potential impacts. The estimates vary significantly as a result of the broad range of assumptions about the likely behavioral responses from the affected stakeholders. The following are some key findings from those studies:

  • This rule will result in some degree of increased premiums for everyone, but notable out-of-pocket cost savings for some;

  • While around only 30 percent of beneficiaries will likely see net savings, their savings are expected to be so large that the overall beneficiary impact will be a net savings; and

  • Cost estimates for the federal government range from savings of $99.6 billion over 10 years to costing the government $196 billion over the same period.

Read more: The Drug Rebate Rule: What’s the Budget Impact?

Posted on May 23, 2019 and filed under Drugs.

REAL-LIFE ‘NARCOS’ DEA AGENTS RAISE RED FLAGS OVER FLORIDA’S NEW DRUG IMPORT MEASURE

 “We’re not talking about painkillers and things like that, we’re talking about cancer meds, HIV, respiratory disease, COPD — that kind of thing,” Murphy told The Daily Caller News Foundation in a phone interview. “In our research and working with the Partnership for Safe Medicines, we’ve learned that seven other states have tried [drug importation laws], and it hasn’t worked anywhere yet.”

The measure would allow Florida to import pharmaceuticals from Canada at a lower cost, and passed the Florida House by a vote of 93-22 in April. It later passed in the state Senate by a vote of 27-13 and is awaiting Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’s signature.

Read more:  REAL-LIFE ‘NARCOS’ DEA AGENTS RAISE RED FLAGS OVER FLORIDA’S NEW DRUG IMPORT MEASURE

Posted on May 22, 2019 and filed under Drugs.

Don't Import Prescription Drugs

Importation, or reimportation as it is sometimes called, is a dangerous gamble. Neither the safety nor efficacy of imported medications can be ensured, placing every patient who takes these medications at great risk. There is no way to verify these medications originated in Canada and Canadian authorities have made it clear they will not be responsible for the quality and safety of prescription drugs being shipped from or through their country.

Often, these drugs come from what appears to be a legitimate source, but testing has shown that many are counterfeit, manufactured in unsafe conditions and contain little, if any, active pharmaceutical ingredients. In fact, a 2017 report from the World Health Organization showed about 1 in 10 medications from developing countries were fake or substandard.

Read more:  Don't import prescription drugs

Posted on May 13, 2019 and filed under Drugs.

​Tell HHS: Drop the Foreign Drug Pricing Proposal Now

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed a dangerous new policy—known as International Pricing Index (IPI) Model—that would import alarming policies from foreign governments with socialized health care systems.

The proposal could block access to life-saving drugs for America’s seniors, inhibit the research and development necessary to discover new treatments, and threaten our nation’s free-market health care system — currently one of the best in the world.

Read more: Tell HHS: Drop the foreign drug pricing proposal now.

Posted on May 6, 2019 and filed under Drugs.

Senators Should Reject Sen. Rick Scott Legislation To Import Foreign Price Controls

Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla) has introduced legislation that would import foreign price controls into the U.S. ATR urges Senators not to cosponsor this legislation. 

The legislation, known as the Transparent Drug Pricing Act, would institute a price control on medicines so that the list price of a drug cannot exceed the lowest price of the drug in Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Japan, or Germany.

Read more: Senators Should Reject Sen. Rick Scott Legislation To Import Foreign Price Controls

Posted on April 22, 2019 and filed under Drugs.

Importing Bad Ideas on Drug Prices

Photo source: CNN

Photo source: CNN

One feature of the political moment is that ideas that first appeared on the left (tariffs) are gaining support on the populist right. The latest example is a GOP plan in Florida to import prescription drugs from Canada, which is impractical, unsafe and unlikely to reduce prices at the pharmacy.

The Florida Legislature has been moving on a plan pushed by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis that directs the state health agency to set up a prescription drug importation program. Other states like Colorado are pondering similar schemes, and Vermont is well along in setting one up.

The thinking is that prescription drugs are too expensive, so the U.S. should import them from countries like Canada that impose price controls on medicine. State employees and the Department of Corrections are among the intended beneficiaries. State Medicaid programs already receive 20%-plus discounts on drugs that would be hard to top with importation.

Read more: Importing Bad Ideas on Drug Prices

Posted on April 16, 2019 and filed under Drugs.

Scalise Working on Lowering Prescription Drug Prices

Photo source: Politico

Photo source: Politico

Rep. Steven Scalise is working on helping seniors save on prescription drug prices:

The proposal primarily affects the 644,000 Louisiana residents -- and 45 million people across the country -- enrolled in Medicare’s Part D drug benefit. Part D plans are federally subsidized but administered by private insurers who compete to sell their plans to the public.

These insurers work with middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers to design plans and determine premiums, co-pays and co-insurance -- the percentage of a drug’s price that Medicare enrollees must pay out of pocket. PBMs decide which drugs to include in each Part D plan. They leverage their decision-making power to demand big discounts from pharmaceutical companies.

Read more: Opinion: Scalise can help seniors save on prescription drugs

Posted on April 1, 2019 and filed under Louisiana, Drugs, Steve Scalise.

Sen. Kennedy Discusses Prescription Drug Prices

Sen John Kennedy of Louisiana recently discussed prescription drug prices in America:

I’m working to lower the cost of prescription drugs. It’s an embarrassment when the average American pays twice what someone in Canada or Great Britain or Switzerland pays for the same identical drug by the same identical manufacturer.

Posted on April 1, 2019 and filed under Drugs, Louisiana, John Kennedy.

Imported Medication Might be Fake

Photo source:  Pennside Partners Ltd

Photo source: Pennside Partners Ltd

Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., recently introduced a bill that would permit Americans to import pharmaceuticals from Canada. The two lawmakers believe their bill will reduce drug costs. But at what cost?

The bill would instead expose patients to potentially dangerous counterfeit drugs. Lawmakers would be wise to vote against it.

Read more: GUEST COMMENTARY: Imported medication might be fake

Posted on March 14, 2019 and filed under Drugs.

HIGGINS: Give Law Enforcement Resources to Respond to Drug Crisis

Photo source: YouTube

Photo source: YouTube

Per Facebook, Rep. Clay Higgins had the following to say during a recent committee meeting on the drug crisis:

Law enforcement professionals tasked with securing our borders don't need DC bureaucrats or politicians, who've never worn a badge, to tell them what their mission is. All they need is for Congress to provide the resources that they have clearly and properly requested.

Posted on March 8, 2019 and filed under Clay Higgins, Drugs.

Conservatives Oppose HHS International Pricing Index for Medicare Part B Drugs

Photo source: BBC

Photo source: BBC

In a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services, ATR and 56 other conservative groups and activists expressed opposition to HHS’s “International Pricing Index” (IPI) payment model for drugs administered under Medicare Part B.

Click here to read the full letter.

Read more:  Conservatives Oppose HHS International Pricing Index for Medicare Part B Drugs

Posted on March 7, 2019 and filed under Drugs.

Poison Pill: Importing Foreign Drug Price Controls

Photo source: Bloomberg  

Photo source: Bloomberg  

“As the title of this paper, "Poison Pill: Importing Foreign Drug Price Controls," suggests, both the regulatory and legislative proposals to index domestic drug prices to foreign prices run into the same serious economic issues. However one serious flaw trumps all others. The focus of the paper is on the fact that governments cannot effectively set efficient prices.“

Read more:  Poison Pill: Importing Foreign Drug Price Controls

Posted on March 4, 2019 and filed under Drugs.

Canadian shelves ‘would run dry’ if U.S. imports drugs

Importing prescription drugs from Canada has long been seen as an easy solution to skyrocketing drug prices for U.S. patients.

But now that President Donald Trump and Democrats are pushing to make those cross-border sales legal, Canadian health experts are issuing a dire warning: It could destroy Canada's drug market.

Read more: Canadian shelves ‘would run dry’ if U.S. imports drugs

Posted on February 22, 2019 and filed under Drugs.

Opinion: Grassley-Klobuchar proposal ushers in dangerous counterfeit drugs

Photo source: Axios

Photo source: Axios

On cost, the Grassley-Klobuchar would yield negligible savings at best. If the entire nation legalized drug importation, number crunchers at the Department of Health and Human Services predict that American drug spending would decrease by less than 1 percent.

On safety, the bill encourages prescription drug abuse. Legally, Canadian pharmacies can only fill scripts written by Canadian physicians. Creatively, some online pharmacies recruit local doctors to "co-sign" prescriptions for American patients. Writing a prescription for a patient one hasn't seen isn't just unethical; it invites fraud. This is especially worrisome given the rising prevalence of prescription drug misuse and abuse.

The bill also exposes Americans to dangerous counterfeits. It's estimated that 1 million people die at the hand of counterfeit drugs every year, many of which come from Canada.

Read more: Opinion: Grassley-Klobuchar proposal ushers in dangerous counterfeit drugs

Posted on February 11, 2019 and filed under Drugs.