DRUGS & DE­VICES

In­sur­ers, providers, pol­i­cy­mak­ers, em­ploy­ers and con­sumer groups spent much of 2016 blast­ing the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try’s pric­ing of pre­scrip­tion drugs.

Modern Healthcare - - NEWS - —Adam Ruben­fire

This big­gest pric­ing con­tro­versy cen­tered on the $608 list price of My­lan Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals’ EpiPen, which now costs five times what it sold for when My­lan ac­quired the brand in 2007—de­spite few changes to the prod­uct. State and fed­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the com­pany’s prac­tices forced My­lan to take a num­ber of steps to calm cus­tomers, in­clud­ing ex­panded dis­counts and plans for a generic ver­sion.

The Amer­i­can Hos­pi­tal As­so­ci­a­tion and the Fed­er­a­tion of Amer­i­can Hos­pi­tals said hos­pi­tals have been hit hard by an aver­age 23.4% in­crease in an­nual in­pa­tient drug spend­ing be­tween 2013 and 2015.

Rick Pol­lack, CEO, Amer­i­can Hos­pi­tal As­so­ci­a­tion

De­spite all the crit­i­cism, drug­mak­ers won a big fa­vor from Congress at year’s end with pas­sage of leg­is­la­tion they lob­bied for heav­ily, the 21st Cen­tury Cures Act. It will sig­nif­i­cantly al­ter how the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion han­dles ap­provals for pre­scrip­tion drugs and med­i­cal de­vices, and is ex­pected to make ap­provals cheaper and faster. Crit­ics worry that it will weaken re­views of prod­uct safety and ef­fec­tive­ness, and they com­plain the leg­is­la­tion does noth­ing to slow price in­creases.

In De­cem­ber, Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump said: “I’m go­ing to bring down drug prices. I don’t like what has hap­pened with drug prices.”

“WE UN­DER­STAND THE VALUE OF IN­NO­VA­TION, BUT AN UN­AF­FORD­ABLE DRUG IS NOT A LIFE­SAV­ING DRUG. AND PRICE IN­CREASES IN DRUGS THAT COME FROM MAR­KET MA­NIP­U­LA­TION ARE JUST WRONG.”

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