Tag Archives: drug companies

Trump administration plans to require drug companies to include prices in ads

BY JESSIE HELLMANN AND NATHANIEL WEIXEL – 

Drug companies would be required to list prices in advertisements under a Trump administration proposal released Monday.

Under the new proposal, which was announced by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, drug manufacturers would need to state the list price of a 30-day supply of any drug that is covered through Medicare and Medicaid and costs at least $35 a month.

The plan is the boldest step the administration has taken to date as part of its efforts to bring down drug prices, and puts the administration squarely at odds with the powerful prescription drug lobby.

“Patients deserve to know what a given drug will cost when they’re being told about the benefits and risks it may have,” Azar said during a speech Monday in Washington, D.C.

“And they deserve to know when a drug company has pushed its prices to abusive levels, and they deserve to know this every time they see a drug advertised to them on TV.”

The proposal will be officially published Wednesday, and will be open for public comment for 60 days.

According to HHS, the 10 most commonly advertised drugs have list prices ranging from $535 to $11,000 per month for a usual course of therapy. Under the proposal, companies would be required to post that information in clear, legible text onscreen at the end of the ad.

HHS officials said the agency will publish a list of companies that don’t comply with the policy. Those companies would also be subject to potential litigation, officials said during a press call.

The pharmaceutical industry opposes the proposal, arguing it would confuse consumers because a drug’s list price is often lower than what the patient will actually pay.

PhRMA, the deep-pocketed trade group representing pharmaceutical companies in the U.S., tried getting ahead of Azar’s announcement, telling reporters Monday morning that its members would begin directing patients to more information about drug costs in television ads.

Every ad mentioning a prescription drug by name will include a voiceover or text telling patients to go to a company-sponsored website where they can find information about the list price, as well as a range of potential out-of-pocket costs and potential patient assistance. 

“We want patients to have more cost information and support using direct-to-consumer advertising,” said PhRMA President Steven Ubl, but “just including list prices is not sufficient and would be misleading.”

Azar acknowledged PhRMA’s plan in his speech Monday afternoon, but said it doesn’t go far enough. 

Full Read – https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/411505-trump-administration-to-require-drug-companies-include-prices-in-ads

Sanofi Files Suit Against Merck, Claiming Patent Infringements

French drugs firm takes legal steps to prevent the launch of rival versions of its diabetes treatment

A packet of diabetes drug Lantus SoloStar on the production line at a manufacturing site of French drugmaker Sanofi in Frankfurt, Germany. The French company has filed a lawsuit against U.S. peer Merck & Co. to prevent it from launching a rival version of its diabetes treatment. PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS— Sanofi SA said it filed a lawsuit against Merck & Co. for alleged patent infringements to prevent the U.S. drugmaker from launching a rival version of the French pharmaceutical giant’s best-selling diabetes treatment Lantus.

In the filing in the U.S. District Court of Delaware, Sanofi said on Monday it claims that Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Merck & Co.’s international division, violated as many as 10 patents held by the French company, including ones for its insulin Lantus and its insulin delivery device soloSTAR.

The Paris-based drugs company said it started the legal proceedings against Merck after the U.S. firm’s filing for new drugs applications with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

A spokeswoman for Merck said the company’s product “doesn’t infringe Sanofi’s patents.”

Sanofi shares were 1.3% higher at €69.91 in midday trading.

The French drugmaker’s all-important diabetes business is under siege, as a flurry of pharmaceutical companies seek to sell knockoffs of its blockbuster insulin Lantus in the U.S. The expected launch of lower-cost copies of Lantus and growing pricing pressure on diabetes drugs in the U.S. is rapidly eroding earnings at Sanofi’s diabetes division, which accounts for about 20% of the firm’s total revenue.

In the first six months of the year, diabetes revenue fell by 6% to €2.9 billion ($3.2 billion), hit by a 15% drop in Lantus sales to €2.38 billion. The company has said it expects revenue from diabetes drugs to continue to decline this as competition among insulin makers intensifies.

In January 2014, Sanofi filed a suit against Eli Lilly & Co. to defend its patents on Lantus. It had reached a deal with the U.S. drugmaker nearly two years later, under which Lilly agreed to delay the launch of its insulin to December 2016 and pay royalties to Sanofi.

In a bid to replenish its new drugs pipeline and revive growth, Sanofifor months had pursued U.S. biotech Medivation—a Nasdaq-listed company that focuses on hard-to-treat cancers, markets one prostate-cancer therapy, Xtandi, and has two other oncology assets in clinical development.

But U.S. pharma giant Pfizer Inc. beat out Sanofi grabbing Medivation for $14 billion in August.

Sourced From  – http://www.wsj.com/articles/sanofi-files-suit-against-merck-on-patent-infringements-1474285467

Arizona Drug Firm Insys Makes Synthetic Pot Compound, Spends Big to Defeat Legal Pot

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2016 AT 2:53 P.M.
A Chandler-based drug firm under investigation for its aggressive sales of a lethal painkiller claims that the large donation it made to a group that opposes marijuana legalization was an attempt to protect the public’s safety.
A Chandler-based drug firm under investigation for its aggressive sales of a lethal painkiller claims that the large donation it made to a group that opposes marijuana legalization was an attempt to protect the public’s safety.
A Chandler-based drug firm under investigation for its aggressive sales of a lethal painkiller claims that the large donation it made to a group that opposes marijuana legalization was an attempt to protect the public’s safety.
Prop 205 “fails to protect the safety of Arizona’s citizens, and particularly its children,” according to a statement Insys provided to New Times on Thursday in response to a message left for CEO John Kapoor. “Our stance is consistent with our company’s goals. We strive to develop pharmaceutical products for the supportive care of patients while taking patient safety very seriously. To that end, we believe that all available medicines should meet the clinical standards set by the FDA.”
Yet while Insys holds itself out as the savior of Arizonans’ health, the company is reportedly under investigation in four states, including Arizona, for marketing practices related to Subsys that have allegedly resulted in patient deaths.

Big Pharma Promotes Legal Drug Addiction

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Big Pharma Promotes Legal Drug Addiction

Many of us believe that Big Pharma must be held accountable for this dangerous opioid trend, especially since several have been caught lying about the benefits and risks of their drugs.

As noted by the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), the drug industry has “fostered the opioid addiction epidemic” in several ways, by:

  1. Introducing long-acting opioid painkillers like OxyContin, which prior to reformulation in 2010 could be snorted or shot. Many addicts claimed the high from OxyContin was better than heroin. In fact, from a chemical standpoint, OxyContin is nearly identical to heroin, and has been identified as a major gateway drug to heroin.
  2. Changing pain prescription guidelines to make opioids the first choice for lower back and other pain conditions that previously did not qualify for these types of drugs. Even the World Health Organization (WHO) has had a hand in this problem, although it restricted its promotion of narcotic painkillers to cancer patients.
  3. Promoting long-term use of opioids, even though there’s no evidence that using these drugs long term is safe and effective
  4. Downplaying and misinforming doctors and patients about the addictive nature of opioid drugs. OxyContin, for example, became a blockbuster drug mainly through misleading claims, which Purdue Pharma knew were false from the start. The basic promise was that it provided pain relief for a full 12 hours, twice as long as generic drugs, giving patients “smooth and sustained pain control all day and all night.”However, for many the effects do not last anywhere near 12 hours, and once the drug wears off, painful withdrawal symptoms set in, including body aches, nausea and anxiety. These symptoms, in addition to the return of the original pain, quickly begin to feed the cycle of addiction.7

A 2015 article in The Week does a great job revealing the promotional strategy developed by Purdue, and backed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), that has led to such enormous personal tragedy.

As noted in this article: “The time-release conceit even worked on the FDA, which stated that ‘Delayed absorption, as provided by OxyContin tablets is believed to reduce the abuse liability of a drug.’”

Other recent research has found that medical marijuana lowers prescription drug use.

The Big Q: Could that be why it hasn’t been rescheduled?

There are no other truly compelling reasons why addictive narcotics like OxyContin are legal, while marijuana, which is extremely unlikely to kill even if one take very high amounts is not.

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Read Full Article – http://www.livetradingnews.com/big-pharma-promotes-legal-drug-addiction-10406.html#.V6F8KZMrKRs