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  #1  
Old 09-20-2015, 07:07 PM
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Default Pharma and Arbitrary Drug Prices

This certainly seems sustainable

A Huge Overnight Increase in a Drug’s Price Raises Protests

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Originally Posted by NYT
Specialists in infectious disease are protesting a gigantic overnight increase in the price of a 62-year-old drug that is the standard of care for treating a life-threatening parasitic infection.

The drug, called Daraprim, was acquired in August by Turing Pharmaceuticals, a start-up run by a former hedge fund manager. Turing immediately raised the price to $750 a tablet from $13.50, bringing the annual cost of treatment for some patients to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Turing’s price increase is not an isolated example. While most of the attention on pharmaceutical prices has been on new drugs for diseases like cancer, hepatitis C and high cholesterol, there is also growing concern about huge price increases on older drugs, some of them generic, that have long been mainstays of treatment.

While some price increases have been caused by shortages, others have resulted from a business strategy of buying old neglected drugs and turning them into high-priced “specialty drugs.”

Cycloserine, a drug used to treat dangerous multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, was just increased in price to $10,800 for 30 pills from $500 after its acquisition by Rodelis Therapeutics. Scott Spencer, general manager of Rodelis, said the company needed to invest to make sure the supply of the drug remained reliable. He said the company provided the drug free to certain needy patients.

In August, two members of Congress investigating generic drug price increases wrote to Valeant Pharmaceuticals after that company acquired two heart drugs, Isuprel and Nitropress, from Marathon Pharmaceuticals and promptly raised their prices by 525 percent and 212 percent respectively. Marathon itself had acquired the drugs from another company in 2013 and had quintupled their prices...

Doxycycline, an antibiotic, went from $20 a bottle in October 2013 to $1,849 by April 2014, according to the two lawmakers.
What is the end game here? Pharma seems on the verge of destroying their own market since everyone is going hog wild on arbitrary price increases. Clearly the "funding R&D" argument breaks down when you have former hedge fund managers buying drugs and immediately raising prices.

This quote also made me laugh out loud

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Originally Posted by NYT
Martin Shkreli, the founder and chief executive of Turing, said that the drug is so rarely used that the impact on the health system would be minuscule and that Turing would use the money it earns to develop better treatments for toxoplasmosis, with fewer side effects.

“This isn’t the greedy drug company trying to gouge patients, it is us trying to stay in business,” Mr. Shkreli said. He said that many patients use the drug for far less than a year and that the price was now more in line with those of other rare disease drugs.


Whatever you say, bro
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Old 09-20-2015, 09:37 PM
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Everyone will blame the insurance co's for balance billing. I can see the NYT/Trib article now:

Big pharma buys a XYZ Rx, and little blue collar worker getting his scripts gets bal'y billed, and insurance co won't pay it"

I gar-N-T-
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Old 09-21-2015, 05:20 AM
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The more you read about the CEO of this company, the more you realize he is a huge POS.

Here is some info on his prior company - Retrophin Pharmaceuticals that used the same strategy of buying rights to drugs and jacking up the prices.

Retrophin Sues Founder Martin Shkreli For $65M. His Reply: 'Preposterous'
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Old 09-21-2015, 12:48 PM
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Finally the Rx cost has caught the attention of the liberal think tank.
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Old 09-21-2015, 01:13 PM
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What kind of dipshits were managing the prior owners of these drugs whose prices could be jacked up willy nilly? I.e. why didn't the prior owner crank the price? I bet their shareholders would be upset knowing they weren't getting the profits they could have.

What's a solution here? Better yet, what is the problem here? Let's define the problem first.
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Old 09-21-2015, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by FormLetter View Post
What kind of dipshits were managing the prior owners of these drugs whose prices could be jacked up willy nilly? I.e. why didn't the prior owner crank the price? I bet their shareholders would be upset knowing they weren't getting the profits they could have.

What's a solution here? Better yet, what is the problem here? Let's define the problem first.
The problem is government regulation prevents market forces from bringing prices in to equilibrium. Things like patent laws and the inability for medicare to negotiate down drug prices make it an amazing product to sell. Couple that with the downside of "if you don't but this gouged product you die" and I don't see why more business people aren't buying pharma companies and doing the same thing.
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Old 09-21-2015, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Reik483 View Post
The problem is government regulation prevents market forces from bringing prices in to equilibrium. Things like patent laws and the inability for medicare to negotiate down drug prices make it an amazing product to sell. Couple that with the downside of "if you don't but this gouged product you die" and I don't see why more business people aren't buying pharma companies and doing the same thing.
The problem is that gouging prices needs to be done very carefully. Upset too many people and you can kill the golden goose via regulatory changes.
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Old 09-21-2015, 02:55 PM
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The problem is that gouging prices needs to be done very carefully. Upset too many people and you can kill the golden goose via regulatory changes.
I doubt Gilead cares how many people it has upset so far.
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Old 09-21-2015, 03:13 PM
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I doubt Gilead cares how many people it has upset so far.
They will when hillary/trump-care comes after their outrageous and easy to demonize prophets.
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Old 09-21-2015, 03:15 PM
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They will when hillary/trump-care comes after their outrageous and easy to demonize prophets.
Congress already tried. Nothing happened.
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