Outrageous 'pills' gouging makes network...

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Outrageous 'pills' gouging makes network...

...news programs cover a story they have done corpo­rate contortions to avoid covering for far too long!

In watching the CBS Evening News for the past several years, there are at least two, sometimes three, 60-second pharmaceutical commercials for everything from erectile dysfunction to urinary incontinence to plaque psoriasis... and they are placed toward the end of the newscast while we're trying to eat dinner!

(Try enjoying the tastiest of meals as a female sotto voce enumerates all the contra-indications the drug can cause, invariably the final one being "even death." That's a bummer!)

And as much as I sit and rage about "Big Pharma" (often joined by my medical professional wife), we never see network news programs even come close to biting the hand that feeds them.

That all changed this evening thanks to the actions of 32-year old former hedge manager Martin Shkreli, founder and CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, who caught the eye of The New York Times this week when it was reported that the price of Daraprim, a medication used to treat HIV and cancer patients, had been raised almost 5500%! (Not a typo!)

And this is the punk behind it all:

Martin Shkreli Vince Offer

(Kinda reminds one of Vince Offer, née Shlomi, ShamWow/Slap Chop infomercials pitchman.)

As the news stories circulated and Shkreli began receiving torrents of opprobrium, most notably on Twitter, he aggressively defended the new pricing, and actually attempted to spin himself and his company as good guys deeply concerned about potential patients.

Martin Shkreli

"I can see how it looks greedy, but I think there's a lot of altruistic properties to it."

Evidently completely tone-deaf to the large scale condemnation, he added:

"This isn’t the greedy drug company trying to gouge patients, it is us trying to stay in business. This is still one of the smallest pharmaceutical products in the world. It really doesn’t make sense to get any criticism for this."
It sure got Hillary's and Bernie's attentions!

Clinton proposes $250 monthly cap on prescription drug costs

"U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton proposed on Tuesday a $250 monthly cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs and other measures to stop what she called 'price gouging' by pharmaceutical companies.

Clinton's comments came after the New York Times reported on how a startup biotechnology company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of the 62-year-old Daraprim treatment for a dangerous parasitic infection to $750 a tablet from $13.50 after acquiring it."

Bernie Sanders questions drug price spike

"One day before rival Hillary Clinton is set to propose a plan to rein in high costs for specialty drugs, Sanders in a letter to Turing Pharmaceuticals demanded an explanation for why the price of a drug used to treat dangerous parasitical infections leapt from $13.50 per tablet to $750 after the company acquired the drug from a competitor."

None of this is coincidental!

Nor is the latest Turing Pharmaceuticals news that they will "Cut Price of Drug Daraprim After Increase Sparks Outcry."


1. Jeanne Speir said...

It's got to stop! Shkreli called Daraprim an "Aston-Martin" medication priced like a much cheaper vehicle, and he simply wanted it to be brought up to the price befitting it's real worth.

He is shrewdly riding the wave of Big Pharma, with their massive, ever increasing prices on multiple medications; along with ridiculous extensions of patent protections, intentional "shortages" of meds, and fierce competition for your health care company's formulary dollar. The insurance company is making us pick up the burgeoning co-pays.

Cancer meds skyrocketing is immoral. The fact the rest of the world is paying half what Americans pay for their medications shows we have been steamrolled and suckered by Pharmaceutical Lobbyists far too long. It's greed gone wild.

Be glad there's not a patent on Aspirin, folks!

This should be on everyone's radar come election time.

Yes, dear... sincerely! You know I defer to you on this subject. (Meds, not elections.)
– Dean

2. Jeanne Speir said...

Our politicians are receiving swag from all manner of sources.

How much are Your public servants swayed?

BTW, Mr. Husband, another link on the same site listed a 50:50 split in contributions based on party affiliations. We need to pay attention to this. Thank you. Thank you very much.
To many, my wife often appears inscrutable... to me as well. But if I sit quietly and wait, the other shoe will fall soon enough.
– Dean

3. Jackie Bennett said...

My dear pal Dean, How did I get credited with comment #2 since clearly it was written by your lovely wife. Last time I looked, my husband was the boyfriend over here with the garden and the crab traps.smiley

An "auto-fill" error. We are both indebted to you for calling the now-corrected error to my attention.

Email address is not published
Remember Me

Write the characters in the image above