The Week in Review in Drug Pricing

If Alanis Morissette released her iconic album today, would it be called Jagged Little Overpriced Pill?
Welcome to the Week in Review in Prescription Drug Pricing.

1. Fear the Turtle

  • Maryland could be the first state in the nation to set up a Prescription Drug Affordability Board, an independent body with the authority to evaluate high-cost prescription drugs and set rates for state and local governments to pay. With a push from patients, the bill passed the House of Delegates 98-40. On to the Senate! — (The Baltimore Sun)

2. Taxpayers pay twice

  • Americans spent millions to invent a new use for an HIV drug. Gilead got the rights and is making billions on research *we* paid for. Somebody write a law to fix that. — (The Washington Post)

3. Highway Robbery

  • The Kentucky AG launched an inquiry into pharmacy benefit managers that are almost certainly overcharging state taxpayers for prescription drugs. Kentucky joins Arkansas, Ohio, Connecticut, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, states that have launched investigations, issued scathing reports, or passed an array of reforms aimed at this shadowy drug pricing player. — (Courier Journal)

4. Sticker shock won’t lower drug prices

  • Johnson&Johnson decided to put prices in its (tax free) TV ads. It can’t hurt and may stoke public outrage, but these companies are immune to shame. We need transparency, and to lower list prices. — (NYT)

5. Does not compute 

  • Pharma’s main talking point — that the industry needs extreme prices to fund new drugs — is the con of the century. Here’s why. — (The Atlantic)