Tags: drug | prices | skyrocket | pharma

Drug Companies Under Fire for High Prices

Thursday, 23 July 2015 12:41 PM

A new coalition of doctors, consumer advocate, lawmakers, and health experts is putting pressure on Big Pharma to disclose profits and new-drug costs, as complaints grow over rising medical prices.

Pharmaceutical cost transparency bills have been introduced in at least six state legislatures in the last year, pressing drug companies to justify their prices, which are often attributed to high research and development costs, The New York Times reports.

“If a prescription drug demands an outrageous price tag, the public, insurers and federal, state and local governments should have access to the information that supposedly justifies the cost,” says the preamble of a bill introduced in the New York State Senate in May.

In an article this week in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, more than 100 prominent oncologists called for support of a grass-roots movement to hold down cancer drug costs. Among the proposals: let Medicare negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies and allow patients import less expensive medicines from Canada.

“There is no relief in sight because drug companies keep challenging the market with even higher prices,” the doctors wrote. “This raises the question of whether current pricing of cancer drugs is based on reasonable expectation of return on investment or whether it is based on what prices the market can bear.”

Former President Bill Clinton, in a speech to pharmaceutical executives in Philadelphia last month, said it would be in the industry’s best interest to say more about its costs and pricing.

“Explain, explain, explain and disclose, disclose, disclose,” Clinton said, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Don’t expect everybody to love you, but at least they will hear your side of the story.”

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Big Pharma is being pressured to disclose profits and new-drug costs, as complaints grow over rising medical prices.
drug, prices, skyrocket, pharma
Thursday, 23 July 2015 12:41 PM
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