Company to sell drug in U.S. for 70x what it costs overseas

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Company to sell drug in U.S. for 70x what it costs overseas

Postby Anaxagoras » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:43 am

Looks like another blatant cash grab to me.

Marathon Pharmaceuticals to charge $89,000 for muscular dystrophy drug after 70-fold increase

A drug to treat muscular dystrophy will hit the U.S. market with a price tag of $89,000 a year despite being available for decades in Europe at a fraction of that cost.
. . .

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved Marathon’s drug, a corticosteroid called deflazacort, to treat a rare type of muscular dystrophy that affects some 12,000 boys in the U.S., most of whom die in their 20s and 30s. The drug isn’t a cure, but it has been shown to improve muscle strength, the FDA said in a statement announcing the approval.

The drug wasn’t sold in the U.S. mainly because no company thought it would be profitable enough to warrant the effort of seeking FDA approval. But U.S. patients have been importing it from foreign countries since the 1990s after clinical trials showed its potential to reduce inflammation with fewer side effects than another steroid.

The price set by Marathon, based in Northbrook, Ill., is 50 to 70 times what most U.S. patients now pay to buy deflazacort from an online pharmacy in the United Kingdom, according to advocates for patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.


I suppose one could question why obtaining FDA approval for a drug that has been available for decades in Europe would be so prohibitively expensive.
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Re: Company to sell drug in U.S. for 70x what it costs overseas

Postby Abdul Alhazred » Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:20 am

Anaxagoras wrote:I suppose one could question why obtaining FDA approval for a drug that has been available for decades in Europe would be so prohibitively expensive.


That is the entire point.

It is government regulation that facilitates cash grabs in this industry.
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Re: Company to sell drug in U.S. for 70x what it costs overseas

Postby Pyrrho » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:30 pm

There are alternatives:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27566742

RESULTS: All treatment groups (DFZ 0.9 mg/kg/d, DFZ 1.2 mg/kg/d, and PRED 0.75 mg/kg/d) demonstrated significant improvement in muscle strength compared with placebo at 12 weeks. Participants taking PRED had significantly more weight gain than placebo or both doses of DFZ at 12 weeks; at 52 weeks, participants taking PRED had significantly more weight gain than both DFZ doses. The most frequent adverse events in all 3 active treatment arms were Cushingoid appearance, erythema, hirsutism, increased weight, headache, and nasopharyngitis.
CONCLUSIONS:

After 12 weeks of treatment, PRED and both doses of DFZ improved muscle strength compared with placebo. Deflazacort was associated with less weight gain than PRED.


DFZ is this $89,000 drug. PRED is prednisone. There are links to other papers at the NIH site.
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Re: Company to sell drug in U.S. for 70x what it costs overseas

Postby Doctor X » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:15 pm

So who the hell is going to buy it when they can still obtain it from overseas?

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Re: Company to sell drug in U.S. for 70x what it costs overseas

Postby Pyrrho » Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:19 pm

Doctor X wrote:So who the hell is going to buy it when they can still obtain it from overseas?

--J.D.

Now that FDA has approved it, folks won't be allowed to import it or buy it from overseas anymore.
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Re: Company to sell drug in U.S. for 70x what it costs overseas

Postby Pyrrho » Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:37 pm

https://www.theguardian.com/business/20 ... maceutical

Pharmaceutical company Kaléo – already under fire for raising the price of an overdose antidote – now plans to put an alternative to the EpiPen on the market for more than seven times the cost of the leading $608 drug.

Kaléo’s epinephrine injector, used to stop severe allergic reactions, will go on sale for $4,500 for a pack of two beginning on 14 February. The auto-injector’s innovative audio instructions walk caregivers through administering less than $5 worth of epinephrine.

Remarkably, because of a system of coupons and discounts, Kaléo’s epinephrine injector Auvi-Q may have the lowest out-of-pocket costs for patients, a strategy some critics say may help some customers, but leads insurance companies to redistribute the cost of the drug through insurance fees to remain profitable.

...

In the past, Kaléo’s vice-president, Mark Herzog, has claimed to the Guardian that the high price of Evzio is required to ensure anyone with a prescription could obtain the drug. He argues that by keeping the cost of its drug high for insurers, Kaléo can offer a variety of discounts to consumers.

That is because Kaléo is among the many pharmaceutical companies that offer to cover co-pays – typically small out-of-pocket payments customers make at the pharmacy for a prescription. That may sound benevolent, but critics contend it drives up the overall cost of healthcare, and thereby insurance. The practice is considered so detrimental to healthcare costs that lawmakers in California are considering whether to make it illegal.

That is because insurance companies use co-pays to negotiate with drugmakers. How? Insurance companies offer to charge lower co-pays to consumers at the pharmacy for a drugmaker’s product, if the drugmaker provides the product at a lower wholesale cost.


http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NE ... #t=article

Prescription-Drug Coupons — No Such Thing as a Free Lunch
Joseph S. Ross, M.D., and Aaron S. Kesselheim, M.D., J.D., M.P.H.
N Engl J Med 2013; 369:1188-1189September 26, 2013DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1301993

It has famously been said that “there is no such thing as a free lunch.” Drug coupons are no exception to this rule. Everyone likes to save money, and coupons for essential therapies may be helpful for certain patients, particularly those with life-threatening conditions for which there are not reasonable generic substitutes. However, the majority of drug coupons are for therapies for which lower-cost and potentially equally effective alternatives exist. Physicians need to talk to their commercially insured patients about the implications of drug-coupon use and make sure that their inclination to reduce short-term out-of-pocket spending doesn't come at the cost of higher long-term expenses for themselves and society.
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Re: Company to sell drug in U.S. for 70x what it costs overseas

Postby Pyrrho » Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:41 pm

Re: the OP

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/won ... ess-again/

Politicians are, once again, concerned that a drug company that plans to sell an old medicine for a very high price is taking advantage of the system.

On Monday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) sent a letter to the chief executive of Marathon Pharmaceuticals, arguing that the Illinois company is"abusing” government policies that encourage the development of treatments for extremely rare diseases, called orphan diseases.

“We urge you to significantly lower your price for this drug before it goes on the market next month,” they wrote. “Marathon’s apparent abuse of government-granted exclusivity periods and incentives to sell what should be a widely available drug for $89,000 a year is unconscionable.”
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Re: Company to sell drug in U.S. for 70x what it costs overseas

Postby Doctor X » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:25 pm

Pyrrho wrote:
Doctor X wrote:So who the hell is going to buy it when they can still obtain it from overseas?

Now that FDA has approved it, folks won't be allowed to import it or buy it from overseas anymore.


They may not be allowed, but they will continue to do so, unless their insurance covers it.

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Re: Company to sell drug in U.S. for 70x what it costs overseas

Postby Anaxagoras » Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:09 am

Doctor X wrote:
Pyrrho wrote:
Doctor X wrote:So who the hell is going to buy it when they can still obtain it from overseas?

Now that FDA has approved it, folks won't be allowed to import it or buy it from overseas anymore.


They may not be allowed, but they will continue to do so, unless their insurance covers it.

--J.D.


That last bit is probably the key. Look for these schemes Pyrrho mentioned where they reimburse the patients for their co-pays.

So out-of-pocket costs for the individual patient with insurance may be comparable or may be even cheaper than importing it, but the insurance company gets nailed, and in turn everyone gets higher insurance premiums (or possibly the taxpayer ends up footing the bill, depending on what Obamacare gets replaced with).
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Re: Company to sell drug in U.S. for 70x what it costs overseas

Postby Doctor X » Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:18 am

. . . which may be fixed or at least lessened if Your Commander in Chief actually forces the competitive bargaining with drug companies which Obama dropped in order to lessen the opposition to passage of his bloated failure.

One good thing about 24-hour news is this shit is being aired. We know about it. It is all over the place.

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Re: Company to sell drug in U.S. for 70x what it costs overseas

Postby Pyrrho » Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:53 pm

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Re: Company to sell drug in U.S. for 70x what it costs overseas

Postby shemp » Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:10 pm

When enough people have died for want of cures, the market will correct itself.
"It is not I who is mad! It is I who is crazy!" -- Ren Hoek

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Re: Company to sell drug in U.S. for 70x what it costs overseas

Postby sparks » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:43 pm

The market will not 'correct' itself. Unless and until they see the void of bankruptcy staring back. All is profit driven. Nothing more, nothing less.

Dead bodies being stacked up like chord wood? No problem: We're still profitable! Burn the dead to make power. It's carbon neutral!!!
Nice things? Hell no!

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Re: Company to sell drug in U.S. for 70x what it costs overseas

Postby shemp » Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:40 pm

sparks wrote:The market will not 'correct' itself. Unless and until they see the void of bankruptcy staring back. All is profit driven. Nothing more, nothing less.

Dead bodies being stacked up like chord wood? No problem: We're still profitable! Burn the dead to make power. It's carbon neutral!!!


YES! The poor are nothing but oxygen thieves!
"It is not I who is mad! It is I who is crazy!" -- Ren Hoek

"[... it seems most strange that... ] the Creator of Heaven and Earth resorted to the womb of a certain Jewish lady, grew there for nine months and was born as an infant, and afterwards grew up and was betrayed into the hands of his enemies who sentenced him to death and executed him, and that afterwards... he came to life and returned to his original place. The mind of a Jew, or any other person, simply cannot tolerate these assertions. If you have listened all your life to the priests who have filled your brain and the marrow of your bones with this doctrine, and it has settled into you because of that accustomed habit. [I would argue that if you were hearing these ideas for the first time, now, as a grown adult], you would never have accepted them." -- Rabbi Moses ben Nahman, defending the Talmud at the Disputation of Barcelona, July 1263.

"God is the supreme excuse for human adults to absolve themselves of any obligation to preserve natural resources for their own children during their lifetime." -- Gene Ray

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Re: Company to sell drug in U.S. for 70x what it costs overseas

Postby Doctor X » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:27 am

I mean, really, what have the poor ever done for us!

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Re: Company to sell drug in U.S. for 70x what it costs overseas

Postby sparks » Mon Feb 20, 2017 4:00 pm

....outside of scaring the shit out of the middle class and keep them showing up to those jobz!!!
Nice things? Hell no!

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