The Week in Review in Prescription Drug Pricing

Insulin in a vial
Infusing money
Into CEOs’ pockets

Welcome to the week in review in haiku in prescription drug pricing!

1. The CEO of Eli Lilly made $9 million last year

  • Patients For Affordable Drugs NOW has heard from patients skipping groceries to afford insulin. But the CEO of this insulin maker is doing swell! Great job, CEO David Ricks, said no person living with diabetes, ever. — (Axios)

2. The Commish Gets Real

  • FDA Commish Scott Gottlieb has called out drug pricing ‘shenanigans.’ Now at the leading insurance industry trade conference, he’s gone and called out the entire health care industry for its elaborate and deceptive “Kabuki drug-pricing constructs.” With apologies to the 400-year-old art form, we agree with the Commish, that “obscure profit taking across the supply chain drives up costs and discourages competition.” Keep it up, Mr. Gottlieb.You’re so much better than Goodell. — (Reuters)

3. Paul Ryan gets another visitor

  • After Wisconsin resident Jackie Trapp met with the Speaker’s office last month, on March 6, U.S. Sen Tom Marino appeared on FreedomWorks Facebook page to pump up the free-market-friendly, obviously-needs-to-pass, low-hanging fruit that is the CREATES Act. Now, he met with Paul Ryan. Lawmakers, CREATES will save taxpayers $3.8 billion. The omnibus is on the horizon.  Hmmmm…. — (The Hill)

4. Here comes the sun

  • U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill wants to shine light on pharma payments to nonprofits. Those industry entanglements are gonna burn bright. — (STAT)

5. Merger-Gate

  • If Cigna buys Express Scripts and the CVS-Aetna merger moves forward, the firms combined would cover nearly half of stand-alone drug enrollees. Will they promise to lower drug prices and be transparent? Or is this all about shareholder returns? — (KFF)