Stay up to date on skyrocketing prescription drugs and how people are fighting back.

Nevada to Big Pharma: ‘Show Us Your Books!’

Nevada passed a law on Thursday that aims to make how medical drugs are priced more transparent. Pharmaceutical companies are now required to publicly disclose the cost of producing and marketing diabetes drugs in addition to the rebates they offer, and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) must disclose the rebates they receive for those drugs and how much of the rebates they retain.

Showing the inner workings of drug pricing will be a crucial step towards creating future legislation that can effectively target reducing drug prices. Bond told me that other state legislatures controlled by Democrats, like California’s and Oregon’s, are taking notice of the Nevada bill and hope to replicate it. 

“It’s a big breakthrough just to be able to get some transparency. It brings accountability. Pharma has been living in this bubble. This is a first step in getting to the cost levers,” Bond said.

Lets put patients first by holding pharmaceutical companies accountable

Drug pricing is one of the most complicated aspects of healthcare, but there is one central fact that is very simple to understand:  Drug prices are not set by the market forces of supply and demand – they are set solely by pharmaceutical companies.

Too often, drug companies game the system to protect their medications’ monopolies, giving them the power to set outrageous initial prices and then raise them like clockwork.  And why do they do this?  “Because they can.”

238 million reasons for high drug prices

Why are drug profits so high? Ask your congressman or senator. Pharmaceutical companies spend more than any other industry on lobbying.

In 2015, the drug industry spent $238 million on lobbying. That’s $445,859 for every U.S. senator and congressman. That’s also 52 percent more money than the second-highest-spending industry, insurance companies. Combined, both industries spent more than $394 million lobbying, or $736,448 for each representative in Congress.

Letter: Prescription drug costs must be reduced

An opinion editorial by Bruce Humphreys, former President of the Oregon Nurses Association:

“Every day in my role as an RN in the cardiac cath lab at St. Charles Health System, I personally see the devastating effects of high drug prices.

We work with many cardiac patients who come into the lab with a list of drugs a mile long. They may have 10 or more prescriptions. About half of our patients are diabetic, many taking insulin, which has tripled in price, even though it has been around for decades. I have heard people say many times that they had to stop taking their medications or are taking less than the recommended dosage because they simply can’t afford it.

It’s time to put patients before profits.”

Wide-ranging Rx drug price bill clears first Oregon committee hurdle

Rep. Rob Nosse’s attempt to rein in prescription drug prices in Oregon cleared its first big hurdle Monday by passing out of the House Committee on Health Care .

An amended form of House Bill 2387 is headed to the House Ways and Means Committee. The controversial bill passed along party lines.

“I’ve been trying to make medications more affordable in this state for almost two years and I tried to have a solution that asks all parties in some form to contribute,” said Nosse in the House Health Committee, who wrote the bill with input from a diverse group of stakeholders. “This helps make prescription drugs more affordable and pricing more transparent.”

Big Pharma Schemes To Destroy Cancer Drug Supply to Drive Up Price

Aspen Pharmacare had a problem – they could continue to sell their drugs at a lower price, or they could just destroy their supplies in order to artificially inflate the value of what they produced. Placing profit over human life was of course their only course of action.

Defiant, Generic Drug Maker Continues to Raise Prices

A generic drug maker with roughly $600 million in net sales in fiscal year 2016, Lannett continues to push prices skyward on some of its offerings. And those moves are noteworthy on two accounts: First, its drugs are all off patent, meaning they are no longer proprietary formulations and should sell at deep discounts. The other: Lannett is raising prices even as it faces an antitrust inquiry from the Justice Department and a drug-pricing investigation from the state’s attorney general.

The Cost of Drugs for Rare Diseases Is Threatening the U.S. Health Care System

While criticism of drug prices should focus on a patient’s ability to afford treatment and on profiteering by unscrupulous pharmaceutical companies, some pricing decision signal a larger threat to the U.S. health care system: the cumulative cost of therapies for rare diseases may be impossible to bear.

The Cost of Cancer: New drugs show success at a steep price

Newer cancer drugs that enlist the body’s immune system are improving the odds of survival, but competition between them is not reining in prices that can now top $250,000 a year.

The global market for cancer immunotherapies alone is expected to grow more than fourfold globally to $75.8 billion by 2022 from $16.9 billion in 2015, according to research firm GlobalData.

What I Want For National Doctors’ Day: Lower Drug Prices For Patients

Because of the high cost of medications, over 1 in 5 American patients have not filled a prescription from their doctor. Many families cut pills in half, skip doses, or share medications with friends and relatives because of limited incomes and high drug prices. Americans are trapped in false choices: they can pay for their prescriptions or they can pay for groceries or rent. When patients and families do pay fortunes for medications and other out-of-pocket costs, their health still suffers because the heat had to be cut off. As physicians, we know our patients’ health suffers no matter what they do.