July 9, 2018
RunawayRx's Dose of Reality series helps keep the public up-to-date on pharma's latest drug pricing schemes and major happenings around the industry. Our most recent edition highlights the role of patents in keeping prices high, California's plan to expand access to Hepatitis C drugs, a new survey that reveals the public's failing trust in pharma, and research results that call for more drug price transparency. 
An article published by CNBC examines one of the many tactics the pharmaceutical industry is using to keep prescription drug prices sky high. In the piece, author Tahir Amin, co-founder of I-MAK, argues that pharma is using patents to game the system, maintaining exclusivity in the market, suppressing competition, and keeping prices up.
"Until our patent system is reformed, the pharmaceutical industry will continue to abuse it-denying real competition, blocking incentives for actual new drug discoveries and using clever marketing strategies around "new" products that do not improve health outcomes."

Read the full piece  here
California Healthline: California poised to expand access to Hepatitis C drugs 

"Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers have set aside $70 million in next year's budget - which starts July 1 - so that almost all Medi-Cal recipients with hepatitis C will become eligible for the medications, as long as they are at least 13 and have more than one year to live...

"In 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Sovaldi, one of the first new hepatitis C drugs known as 'direct-acting antivirals.' At that time, its list price was  $84,000 for a 12-week course of treatment...

" Patient advocates and researchers believe the high cost of the newer hep C drugs has led some state Medicaid programs to ration them to the sickest patients."

Read more  here.
Edelman's Trust Barometer: Trust in healthcare 

Edelman's recently released annual Trust Barometer reveals powerful data about the public's perception of pharma's role in the healthcare sector. 

Key Highlights
  • In the U.S. trust in pharma decreased by 13 points, moving the industry firmly into the "distrusted" category. This shift comes as pharma receives overwhelming blame for the ever increasing price of drugs. 
  • Pharma also emerged as the least trusted sub-category of Health globally and was the single most nominated group responsible for the high cost of care. 

Read more  here.

AHIP: Why prescription drug price transparency matters

With drug prices on the rise, America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) has released a study exposing the need for more transparency in the pharmaceutical industry.
Key Highlights
  • About 95 percent of specialty drugs and 85 percent of orphan drugs cost more than $10,000 per patient per year. Few branded and no generic drugs have annual per patient cost exceeding this threshold.
  • On average, approximately 700 drugs have increased in price by 10 percent or more a year in the past five years. The vast majority of them are branded drugs.
  • The number of drugs with double-digit price increases has slowed in the last two years for branded prescription drugs, indicating that scrutiny and accountability may help slow down price increases.

Read more  here
For the latest updates and information on the prescription drug pricing crisis, visit the RunawayRx website:
RunawayRx | (818) 760-2121 | info@runawayrx.org