The Week in Review in Drug Pricing

Happy Sunday! Big Pharma pours more money into lobbying than ever before. Scrappy Illinois legislators have come out swinging with a bill to stop price gouging aptly named, PHARMABRO. The president is expected to talk about drug prices — but will list prices come down? And I know this isn’t technically a drug pricing item but can we PLEASE talk about the nurse anesthetist who came in second in the Boston Marathon?

1. PhRMA gets desperate

  • PhRMA, the drug industry’s no. 1 apologist, put $10 million big ones into lobbying in the first three months of 2018, more than EVER BEFORE. Stop fighting the sea change and start lowering drug prices, PhRMA! — (STAT

2. Trump to talk drug prices

  • In his State of the Union Address, President Trump promised “prices will come down.” That’s the metric on which Americans will judge next week’s announcement. Will the proposals by the Administration lower the list price of drugs? We’ll be watching. — (MarketWatch

3. Scrappin’ in Springfield

  • A state representative from Chicago is taking on Big Pharma with an anti-gouging bill, dubbed PHARMABRO. Will Guzzardi’s legislation just passed the House. It would would empower the Illinois attorney general’s office to investigate price increases in generic drugs above certain threshholds.  

4. A first-of-its-kind

  • Heads up. In New York, a drug utilization review board will meet April 26. It could recommend a supplemental rebate to lower the cost of the cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi by Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Forget rebates. We think Vertex should just drop its price. Check out the preview. — (STAT)          

5. It’s a crime in our books

  • When science hinted cancer patients could take less of a $148,000-a-year drug, its maker tripled the price. Now that’s what they call pharmaceutical innovation. — (The Washington Post) 

6.  I know this isn’t a drug pricing story...but...

  • We can’t let the week go by without giving props to the nurse anesthetist who nabbed second place in the Boston Marathon. I bet she’s into lower drug prices. — (The Boston Globe)