Senators Want Investigation On Massive Increase In Drug Prices... But Will They Really Seek A Solution?

from the monopolies-are-bad dept

We recently covered the news that the FDA had retroactively granted a monopoly to KV Pharmaceutical on the widely used drug Makena (which is used to prevent premature births). The drug had been sold at $10 per dose, but the second KV got the monopoly, it pushed the price up to $1,500 per dose -- or around $30,000 vs. $200 for a full treatment. The news of this massive price hike certainly got a lot of attention, and now two Senators are asking the FTC to investigate KV Pharmaceutical to see if this is legit. It's nice to see the Senators, Sherrod Brown and Amy Klobuchar, stepping up to express their concern about this, but if they really wanted to make a difference, they shouldn't just be investigating KV. After all, KV is playing by the rules that the US government set up. What they should really be exploring is why we give monopolies on important life saving drugs that create problems like this in the first place?


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2011 @ 9:36am

    What they should really be exploring is why we give monopolies on important life saving drugs that create problems like this in the first place?

    First off, why the question mark. There is no question. "What they should be doing" isn't a question, it is a statement (and erroneous one, but that is the next thing).

    Now, as to your point, you never seem to consider that perhaps many life saving drugs would not be created (or not created as promptly) without patent protections. With the incredible amounts of money required to develop, test, and get approval for medications, as well as the insane legal exposure if there are any adverse effects makes it unlikely that anyone would want to bring discoveries to market.

    I am unable in this specific case to understand the process that had the drug go from "open" to "closed" and none of the information that you have presented makes any sense. Perhaps if you take the time to explain what happened, people could form a better opinion. Just ranting about a price increase sounds a little like chicken little.

     

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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Mar 21st, 2011 @ 9:41am

    Re:

    Oh, shill...all the info is in the post with links to the details. I was really hoping you could come up with an excuse for this. Don't bring out the research angle because, in this case, the drug was already sold FOR $10 A DOSE!!!! So that is a complete load. Shill harder next time.

     

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    coward, Mar 21st, 2011 @ 9:44am

    amy

    Isn't her last name Klobuchar?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2011 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re:

    Sadly, the things Mike links to do not clearly explain what is going on. The only thing I could grasp was that doctors were using a combination of other drugs to get to an approximation of this, but there was no "single pill" solution. But even that is hard to follow, because everything Mike linked to is all about running around with your head cut off screaming "massive price increase! Ba-kaw!" without actually explaining how a patent or monopoly was granted.

    Would you care to enlighten us?

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 21st, 2011 @ 9:51am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Please stick to the script! Your line is: "investment into new drugs wouldn't happen if their weren't drug patents. Everybody know Jonas Salk had a patent long before he invented anything, and none of your 'facts' can disprove that."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2011 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mr Salk didn't have to face incredible legal liability. In today's world, his discovery would spend 5 - 10 years in expensive clinical trials before getting released to the public, and the actual company producing it would have to allow for billions of dollars of potential liablity.

    So yeah, let try to work with a slightly more modern example. You are using Mike's usual bullcrap, going back in history to find a situation that isn't parallel to the current situation.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 21st, 2011 @ 9:55am

    Re:

    "With the incredible amounts of money required to develop, test, and get approval for medications..."

    There is SOME cost there, but not nearly as much in most cases as people think. The biggest line item for any drug is usually either in "Marketing" or some line item code for "Marketing". Often times the R&D and development costs are footed by public universities.

    Now, Makena is an interesting case. It was originally branded as Delalutin by Squibb for use in reducing pregnancy loss in women that experienced multiple fetus losses. Squibb, of course, was the pharma firm that cooked its books so badly that the US Attorney in NJ was granted oversight over the company. They were accused of anti-competitive practices, deceiving the USPTO, paying off generic manufacturers NOT to produce, and filing baseless infringement lawsuits to deter generic entry into the market (costs for this are often rolled into R&D line item overheads).

    Squibb voluntarily gave up the brand and Delalutin, or 170HP, became an orphan drug. Then the NIH came out w/a report in 2003 stating that the drug was effective in reducing premature birth instances. Whammo! KV Pharma sponsors the drug to the FDA as Makena, rebranded to avoid pissing people off, and raised pricing on it by 200x.

    So, you're comment is just plain silly. Pharma costs are usually NOT heavy on the real R&D side, as public entities do much of that work on the public dime. They market the shit out of their drugs once they achieve or license the patent, and then pretend those marketing costs are included in R&D. But that didn't even happen in this case. All the R&D was done by another company. All KV did was read a report that said the drug was good, get a retroactive patent on a drug they DIDN'T develop, and then charge thousands more for it than was previously charged. W/o doing a thing to bring the drug to market. At all. In any way.

    KV, of course, is about as evil a pharma company as there is at their size. They faced felony charges in 2008 when an FDA inspection revealed that they were making and marketing unapproved drugs. Eventually, the FDA shut them down and they lost nearly their entire workforce. They were reapproved for manufacturing drugs in 2010 because they agreed to replace their owner and CEO, Marc Hermelin, who was largely blamed for the controversey. The new CEO? VICTOR HERMELIN, his father.

    Sigh...why do pharma firms have to make their evil so blatent?

     

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    Hulser (profile), Mar 21st, 2011 @ 9:58am

    Re:

    you never seem to consider that perhaps many life saving drugs would not be created (or not created as promptly) without patent protections.

    A quick search of TD articles with the "Drugs" tag disproves your statement. But in case your "never" was hyperbole...

    Mike does in fact consider the costs and incentives to create new costs. As for the costs, he points out that the costs are often overinflated. For example, much of the research is based on government of university research. Another example is the huge amount of money that goes into marketing. (You don't need marketing to heal people; you need marketing to make money from healing people.) And as for the incentives, another point that Mike makes is that even if you accept the fact that patents are needed to recoup the cost of creating a new drug, this is the wrong system to begin with. The system as it is now encourages profits over health. This is messed up because a country would be far better off (financially, etc) with more of its citizens being healthy rather than the system we have where only lip service is paid to the health benefits.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2011 @ 10:02am

    Re: Re:

    >>Sigh...why do pharma firms have to make their evil so blatent?

    Because Nazis are played out as villains this day and age. They're just helping Hollywood come up with new material.

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 21st, 2011 @ 10:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What?! And you came to work without a working sarcasmeter? That's it, you're fired. Go home, you can shill tomorrow.

     

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    The eejit (profile), Mar 21st, 2011 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But...but...Tobacco!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2011 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re:

    as for the costs, he points out that the costs are often overinflated. For example, much of the research is based on government of university research.

    Mike mentions costs only to dismiss them, not to really consider them. The only way you have a system that doesn't encourage profts (not over health, just profits) would be to entirely, completely, and totally socialize the medical field, make all research government mandated, etc., or to have the Government set the retail price of every medication sold, turning it into a high risk, low return business that few would be interested in being part of.

    The real problems in the US start and end with a liability system in the US that allows for damage awards so high, that the risks of putting a drug on the market often outweigh any potential for income, and that this liablity risk has to be priced into every pill sold.

    If you price medicine only on it's marginal costs (the ingredients and producing it), there wouldn't be much development, and certainly no risk taking.

    Remember, generic drug companies are playing the safest cards: They get meds after they have been on the market for years, they don't produce generic duds, only hits with low risk. That is how they can price much lower.

    You cannot pick and choose when looking at the costs and liablity risks of producing medication. You cannot ignore the expensive failures and drugs that "fail during clinical trials" that cost millions with no return possible. The successful drugs have to pay for those failures too.

     

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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Mar 21st, 2011 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Okay...so Makena is the same as Delalutin which was approved by the FDA in 1956. Delalutin was used mainly for treating female hormone imbalance and cancer. Apparently the drug was removed from the market in 2008 'for business reasons.' Probably to hand over the reigns to KV Pharmaceutical to raise our insurance premiums. This article is before the huge price jump so sadly March of Dimes is applauding the decision...they were wrong...oh so wrong.
    Business Week Article February 6, 2011
    If you don't like what Mike gives you then use Google...or do you feel guilty about that?

     

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    Anonymous a-hole, Mar 21st, 2011 @ 10:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sure, let's - like how medical devices don't get any scrutiny as all as long and their manufacturer says, "Yea, it's similar to $FOO that we already make".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2011 @ 10:30am

    Is it wrong that my first thought was 2 congress critters in a bid to grab headlines launch some "investigation" that most likely will end with contributions from KV to their reelection campaigns?

     

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    DH's Love Child (profile), Mar 21st, 2011 @ 10:49am

    Re:

    Unfortunately, it's probably more accurate than it should be...

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Mar 21st, 2011 @ 10:53am

    "With the incredible amounts of money required to develop, test, and get approval for medications"

    Dont forget the multi-million dollar Gym's for their employees.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2011 @ 10:56am

    Re: Re:

    Often times the R&D and development costs are footed by public universities.

    I've worked for/consulted to: two of the largest pharmaceutical companies, a major research/teaching hospital, a research institution, and the pharmacy school at a very large public university.
    So I've had the chance to see this from various angles.

    And this statement is not only true, it's EXTREMELY true. The heavy lifting is almost always and nearly entirely done by academics and other researchers, not by pharma personnel. What pharma personnel do -- for the most part -- is flog the drugs at conferences and construct marketing campaigns for them.

    This is not to say that there aren't exceptions: there are. Every now and then, a drug company puts in some serious effort (as measured by cash spent). But those really are exceptions: the rule is that the marketing department has an embarrassingly large budget compared to R&D.

    Don't even get me started on what the executives make. It's obscene.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 21st, 2011 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "the rule is that the marketing department has an embarrassingly large budget compared to R&D."

    But it's worse than that, actually. Maybe w/your insight you can confirm, but the reports I've read insist that most pharma companies will hide this fact by including R&D and Marketing as a single line item, calling it something else. Then, when anyone brings up the R&D thing, they point to that line item and shriek about how much they spend on it, never including the bit that massive marketing costs are included....

     

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    Hulser (profile), Mar 21st, 2011 @ 11:11am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The only way you have a system that doesn't encourage profts (not over health, just profits) would be to entirely, completely, and totally socialize the medical field

    You're fond of hyperbole, aren't you? You're either exagerating or just plain see things in a completely binary fashion. I'm not saying it would be easy, but isn't it worth a shot to try to at least address some of the problems which arise from treating drug patents like any other product in our capitalist system?

    The real problems in the US start and end with a liability system in the US that allows for damage awards so high, that the risks of putting a drug on the market often outweigh any potential for income, and that this liablity risk has to be priced into every pill sold.

    I would agree that this is a big part of the problem.


    Remember, generic drug companies are playing the safest cards: They get meds after they have been on the market for years, they don't produce generic duds, only hits with low risk. That is how they can price much lower.

    Mike certainly and anyone else who has a general understanding of this topic knows this. No one is suggesting that all drugs could be developed (under our current system) and sold for what the generics cost. This would be a straw man argument. My take on the situation is that many people think that the costs of drugs are unnaturally inflated, even for a capitalist system.


    You cannot ignore the expensive failures and drugs that "fail during clinical trials" that cost millions with no return possible.

    Who exactly is suggesting that you should?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2011 @ 11:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's sitting next to all that bunk that piled up yesterday. I still don't have a space for it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2011 @ 11:17am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Are you suggesting that actually getting a drug into a commercial form, getting it through clinical trials, getting FDA approval, and then having to accept 20 years of risk is nothing?

    Got it!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2011 @ 11:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mike certainly and anyone else who has a general understanding of this topic knows this. No one is suggesting that all drugs could be developed (under our current system) and sold for what the generics cost. This would be a straw man argument.

    It isn't a strawman at all - what is pushed is to do away with the patents on medication, and to allow any company to produce them. The effect would be taking the drug directly to the "generic equivilant" stage immediately. Without any of the up front costs, the copycat / generic makers would always be able to sell more cheaply, effectively removing the "recovery of investment / covering of risk" parts of the drug cycle.

    Essentially, it would create an industry of vultures, waiting for drug developments to be released, so they can copy them without any true development cost.

    As for the "failures", you have to remember that if a company develops 2 drugs and 1 "fails" late in the process, the other drug effectively has to carry that development and testing cost as well. So the price for that drug is higher than "it should be" because it has to cover other costs.

     

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    Dickey Schmeckle, Mar 21st, 2011 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Wait, sooo the litigious bureaucracy that's cropped up around the drug industry is to blame for the patent crisis?

    So, lawyers kill babies, but make up for it by protecting the entitlements that lead to new erectile dysfunction drugs.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2011 @ 11:37am

    Re:

    with their incredible profit margins, that's absolutely not true. if it were true, their profit margins would be much smaller, however, they're obviously making their money back many times over whatever they invested. its simple math. a 2-year old could figure it out.

     

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    Jay (profile), Mar 21st, 2011 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Do you have any links by chance? It may be time to start a blog and Tweet this stuff...

     

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    JR Smith (profile), Mar 21st, 2011 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Ridiculous drug prices

    Man, you are either brain-washed by the "rethugs" or you work for big pharma. Everything is about money. Those greedy people don't give one hoot about you or me. All they care about is how much they can take.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 21st, 2011 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The following isn't a bad primer, but I'm working off of a series of books/articles that I'll have to look up to reference later....

    http://www.thepharmaletter.com/file/85305/us-pharma-slammed-over-marketing-vs-rd.html

     

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    Michial Thompson, Mar 21st, 2011 @ 1:03pm

    Really

    The KV case is rediculous, and I won't comment on that one, but I do have a serious question for you Mike.

    You try claiming that medicines would actually come to market faster and cheaper if the Patents weren't allowed on them. Can you back up that claim?

    Most of the cost of bringing a medicine to market is in the trials and testing, and in the liability awards after the fact when an unforseable side affect arises.

    I agree that once the FDA approves a medicine the cost to mass produce it is insignificant, but in your world without patents why would a company even waste time developing new medicines? They would still incure the R&D, the trials expenses and probably the worst part the legal Liabilities, but would be forced to market/sell their product to compete with those that have none of those expenses.

    The only way that you would see medicines come to market would be that in addition to getting rid of the patents you would also need to limit the liability, and reduce the costs for approval by the FDA.

    Take Phen Phen as a perfect example, both parts of the medicine were on the market for decades. The candidate patients were all overweight and facing serious heart issues if they didn't lose weight. Yet when the medicine caused heart problems the class action lawsuits were awarded billions. Why would a company bother investing in the R&D and FDA Approval if they were forced to compete with companies that shared nothing in those expenses. Then when something like this happens, only the creator would be liable for the lawsuits and the generics would be free to just stop selling and move on to the next medicine to copy.

    Competition in physical goods such as cars and appliances does in fact reduce costs. BUT those types of consumables also don't take years of testing just to be approved for sale to the public. When someone has a design flaw they are held liable for that flaw, but their competitors are equally held responsible for flaws in their products if they copy the same flaw.

    A lot of what you claim on here I can at least fathom what you are trying to say even if I disagree. BUT this one I don't see it, and would love to see you try to explain exactly how removing the patents would bring anything to market faster?

     

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    Wolfy, Mar 21st, 2011 @ 1:18pm

    Who wants to bet one or two ofthe senators pushing the investigation, will in a few months, be accepting huge contributions for re-election from a pharma or two, and the investigations quietly languish?

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Mar 21st, 2011 @ 1:30pm

    One step at a time

    It's nice to see the Senators, Sherrod Brown and Amy Klobuchar, stepping up to express their concern about this, but if they really wanted to make a difference, they shouldn't just be investigating KV. After all, KV is playing by the rules that the US government set up. What they should really be exploring is why we give monopolies on important life saving drugs that create problems like this in the first place?

    Tackling this particular company for this particular price hike is a definable way to show why our health care costs are out of control.

    I think if the senators tried to change the entire system, the whole thing would get bogged down and nothing would get done. So perhaps incremental steps, and a way to get average citizens outraged, is the most politically effective way to deal with this.

     

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    The eejit (profile), Mar 21st, 2011 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Really

    No, that's not entirely correct. yes,t here are going to be clinical trials, and they can get into the many millions for legal reasons, but this is a drug that's commonly used to inhibit labour. IT's just taken a 150-fold increas in cost to hospitals, and the clinical trials have already taken place.

    This is an orphan drug that became generic, and then got taken out of the public domain of old patents, and marked up massively. This is little more than a massive cashgrab.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2011 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re:

    My three-year-old couldn't. He is probably just dumb as a rock.

     

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    Michial Thompson, Mar 21st, 2011 @ 2:16pm

    Re: Re: Really

    eejit;

    I wasn't refering to this particular drug solely. I agree that the price hike from $10 to $1500 is rediculous in this case.

    Mike frequently claims that patents are preventing medicine from getting to where it needs to be, and I have read claims by both Mike and commentors that removing patents on medicines would make them cheaper and also get them to market faster.

    I was giving Mike a chance to back up the claims. I rarely agree with Mike's claims but I can at least understand his view point. In the medical world I don't even begin to understand his view point at all.

    I agree that the cost of health care is out of control. I will be stoping on my way home to pick up a refill for a single med that is $500 per month for me, and I will be on it for the rest of my life.

    Patent's on medicines are already substantially shorter than any other patent to allow Generics to come available sooner. But I see little reason for a company to go through the years if not decades of trials and testing, and to face the huge legal awards, if their formulas are instantly made available to every chemical shop in the world.

    Competition would be based on production costs alone, and Generic Manufacturers would be able to manufacturer and sell based on the cost of production only, they would not face potential legal awards because they didn't invent it. They wouldn't have the cost of Trials and FDA Licensing because they are a copy. Their only costs would be in basic quality control. And then on top of that they are awarded the sale by default in most cases because insurance requires the use of Generics when available.

    I just don't see where the incentive to produce a new drug under the terms that Mike claims would work.

    No matter what idealism we live in few if any companies or people for that matter do things JUST for the good in doing them, there has to be a motivation.

     

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    Mike Mar, Mar 21st, 2011 @ 3:58pm

    KV tragedy can still be avoided

    KV took the most effective drug for preventing premature birth that had been on the market since 1958 and relabelled it from P17 to Makena at 150x price point. A 150x price point increase of anything discourages it's use...stillbirths and premature births will increase due to this price gouging. Having had my son stillborn last year when I saw this a few weeks ago it shocked me. KV is reconsidering the price point..they are being hit from a dozen angles on this..not just the senators. Please keep the pressure on KV until they adjust Makena price point adjustment.

     

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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Mar 21st, 2011 @ 8:29pm

    Re: Are you suggesting that actually getting a drug into a commercial form, getting it through clinical trials, getting FDA approval, and then having to accept 20 years of risk is nothing?

    It’s a drop in the bucket compared to pharma companies’ main costs. Which are: promotion and distribution.

     

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    Laurie Cardoza, Mar 21st, 2011 @ 9:14pm

    Progesterone Injections

    This is absolutely ridculous! This is my second pregnancy and I'm suppose to start taking my weekly injections in a few weeks! I've done all my research on Progesterone Injections & have spoken to the Perinatal (high risk doctor)! This is my only option for carrying a full term pregnancy! I buried my son (Christo) AND NO ONE on earth should EVER have to go through this pain! This is a terrible CRIME!

     

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    ksj, Mar 21st, 2011 @ 10:04pm

    Simple fix

    Any publicly funded research & associated patents are available to all.

    If you have something you created yourself that doesn't use publically funded patents then have at it.

    We paid for them in the first place, so why not turn it into what it should be.

    If they want to make the big bucks then they should be financing the whole thing, not having their research funded by the taxpayer and then charging us to use it.

     

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    velox (profile), Mar 21st, 2011 @ 10:48pm

    A Regulatory Path to Monopoly-- explained:

    "would you care to enlighten us?"

    The Makena situation is complicated, and it is a good illustration of unintended consequences of government regulation. If also demonstrates the consequences of lawsuits on the marketplace.
    Despite the content of many comments here today, what this story DOES NOT involve is patents or research and development.
    Rather what this story does show is how government intervention in the marketplace can produce an effective monopoly, even without a patent or other IP law at play.

    Here are the facts:
    --> Delalutin = Makena = hydroxyprogesterone

    1) 1956: Delalutin is approved by the FDA for treatment of abnormal uterine bleeding.

    2) 1970: FDA approves additional indication for treatment of uterine cancer.

    3) 1973: Bristol Meyers Squibb requests approval for an indication to treat threatened miscarriage (The indication for which 'Makena' is now being marketed). The FDA denies this request, saying that there is too much risk of birth defects. This usage of Delalutin continues however as physicians prescribe it "off-label".

    4) After patent expiration, multiple manufacturers produce/market hydroxyprogesterone in the US.

    5) 1977, 1978: The FDA requires additional labeling warnings on Delalutin regarding birth-defects.

    6) After the warnings are published, lawsuits blaming Delalutin for birth defects occur during the 1980's, prompting some manufacturers to withdraw from the market.

    7) 1999: The FDA decides that further scientific evidence does not support the worries about birth defect risks, and the requirement for warnings against using the drugs in pregnant women are removed -- [but it's too late.]

    8) 1999: Bristol, Meyers Squibb, the last remaining manufacturer, notifies the FDA without explanation that they had stopped supplying Delalutin several years earlier. [One may assume that BMS took this action because it was a low volume drug with low profit versus its legal liability.]

    9) 2000: Delalutin's FDA approval is withdrawn.

    10) 1990's - 2006: Certain small companies in the "compounding pharmacy" business continue to supply hydroxyprogesterone to physicians who continue to use it off-label to suppress miscarriage.

    11) 2006: The FDA begins a new safety initiative to remove unapproved or untested drugs from the marketplace. The FDA begins forcing compounding pharmacies to stop making hydroxyprogesterone
    ***[ This event in effect removes all competition from the marketplace. It sets up a situation where the first company to return to the market after having done the testing required by the FDA will have a complete monopoly -- and surprise! Thats exactly what happened. ]

    12) Feb 2011: FDA approves Makena for treatment of threatened preterm birth. [Their pharmaco-economists decide that the market will bear a very steep price of 30,000 for a full treatment course. Given that this is in the same price ball-park as in-vitro fertilization procedures, and given that there's NO COMPETITION, what is to stop them?]

    13) Mar 2011: Senators call for hearings so they can rant about about price gouging.
    --> What they should be looking at is how government regulation (step # 11) has resulted in loss of competition. If Congress had real leadership, or if executive branch regulators cared, the focus of the discussion would be : --> How to preserve both safety and competition. For now however, encouraging competition remains an afterthought at best.

    This should be Adam Smith 101, but so many people don't seem to understand so let me say it a few times: Competition, Competition, Competition!!

    For additional info, you can read here and here, and, here and here

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Michial Thompson, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 4:21am

    Re: Re: Are you suggesting that actually getting a drug into a commercial form, getting it through clinical trials, getting FDA approval, and then having to accept 20 years of risk is nothing?

    Prove your statement that Marketing and distribution costs out pace R&D and FDA Approval.

    Just because you see a bunch of commercials on TV doesn't mean that they are spending more on Marketing...

    And are you really trying to say that mixing chemicals, and drying them into a little 1/2 cc pill or even cheaper capsule is seriously more than a few pennies?

    Where paying for YEARS of Researching Chemical combinations, YEARS of testing in lab animals, the YEARS of human testing/trials, and YEARS trying to get approved by the FDA is cheaper than a few commercials on TV, and a sales rep running around giving samples that cost a few pennies away?

    I would love to see how you can back your statements.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 6:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Are you suggesting that actually getting a drug into a commercial form, getting it through clinical trials, getting FDA approval, and then having to accept 20 years of risk is nothing?

    Michial, some background:

    1. No single industry has spent more in recent years on federal and state lobbying than the pharma industry. They've averaged roughly $150 million spent PER YEAR just on FEDERAL lobbying in the States. (CPI Report in 2005)

    2. Direct to consumer pharma advertising grew "from $791 million in 1996 to $3.8 billion in 2004", and that trend has continued upward to date (CPI Report in 2004)

    3. From Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine: “Drug industry expenditures for research and development, while large, were consistently far less than profits. For the top ten companies, they amounted to only 11 percent of sales in 1990, rising slightly to 14 percent in 2000. The biggest single item in the budget is neither R&D nor even profi ts but something usually called ‘marketing and administration’—a name that varies slightly from company to company. In 1990, a staggering 36 percent of sales revenues went into this category, and that proportion remained about the same for over a decade. Note that this is two and a half times the expenditures for R&D.”

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Rhall, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Re:

    Marc was required to give up his interest in the company; however, Victor Hermelin is the founder and deceased. Victor Hermelin patented the time release capsule and founded KV Pharma back in the early 1900's. Greg Divis is the acting CEO and they are trying to correct the past flaws albeit with some high pricing I might add. I think if the FDA lifts the consent decree on the company the Makena price may come down, think its just being used as leverage and dont know jmo.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Tim Parrett, Jun 1st, 2012 @ 6:53pm

    These prices far exceed R&D costs, and in fact ruin the whole R&D process. The countless chemists, mathematicians, physicists who really made the modern pharmaceutical world possible have never been remimbursed. The pharceutical industry stands on the shoulders of those true giants of the early twentieth century, but their money-motive, patent thickets and lawyers do not allow any further true progress. To say we need more money to pharma to make motives is laughable and ridiculous. Higher paid university researchers whould do a much better job than industry, and the sharing of information would truly made progress exponential. The "free' market has ruined medicine and progress.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Tyler Long, Apr 25th, 2013 @ 12:30am

    High prices of compounded drugs

    There is always a way out, we just need to find that way or there is a solution of every problem, we only need to see it so as the drug prices. The compounding pharmacy Knoxville is also in favor of low rates of compounded drugs to make them available for everyone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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