Monday, May 16, 2016

Big Pharma wants you to think only bad actors are price gouging. Don't believe it

The PR narrative of the pharmaceutical industry is that bad actors like Turing Pharmaceuticals' greed poster boy/CEO Martin Shkreli are giving their business a bad name. But Reuters recently reported that:
     Prices for four of the nation's top 10 drugs increased more than 100 percent since 2011, Reuters found. Six others went up more than 50 percent.
Now, there is evidence of cruel price gouging on naloxone — an antidote to opioid overdoses. (The DEA says that half of the 46,471 drug-related deaths in 2013 were caused by prescription painkillers and heroin.)

      Five versions of naloxone are now on the market — no failure there — and still, its price keeps rising.
      The list price of Kaleo Pharma’s auto-inject version – specifically approved for a people without medical training to use in a life-threatening crisis — soared from $575 to $3,750 per two-dose package in just two years, according to Truven Health Analytics. Amphastar’s product cost $66 for two syringes at the end of 2014, nearly double the price a year earlier. Two vials of Hospira's generic, which cost $1.84 in 2005, shot up to $31.66 by 2014.

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