April 3, 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 a new report on skyrocketing brand-name drugs, an assessment of the implementation and early outcomes of SB 17another report on the relentless price hikes from drugmakers over the past 14 months, and an opinion piece breaking down what Shkreli's sentence means for the drug pricing crisis. 
Last week, Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri released a report showing that some of the most popular brand-name drugs have increased in price by, on average, 12 percent per year from 2012 to 2017 - 10 times faster than the inflation over those five years.  

"Can you imagine if you went to an auto dealership and last year's exact model was being sold at a 20 percent mark-up, and then you went back the next year and it had happened again?" McCaskill said. "That's exactly what's happening in the prescription drug industry, where the cost of identical drugs skyrockets year after year."

Read Senator McCaskill's full statement and report, here.
Politico: California's Drug Transparency Law Yields Early Surprises

"California's first-in-the-nation drug pricing transparency law is beginning to kick in - and to spur copycats, with Oregon's governor last week signing a law that requires drug companies to disclose cost components they have long
considered proprietary.
"California has already pried loose new numbers that may seem deja vu: Valeant, a magnet for criticism over past price boosts, is about to raise the price of a generic glaucoma medication by 63 percent, and Teva Pharmaceuticals, the world's biggest generic drugmaker, plans a 49 percent price bump May 1 for an inhaler solution to prevent asthma attacks...

"With stories like these playing out across the country, California sees another area where it can play national leader. Gov. Jerry Brown explicitly described the transparency measure - supported by a broad coalition of insurers, employers and advocates arrayed against vehement drug industry opposition - as a model for other states when he signed it in October."

Read more here
Axios: Drug prices are still going through the roof 

"...pharmaceutical companies have hiked the prices of hundreds of drugs at rates that significantly outstrip inflation, according to an analysis  conducted by Pharmacy Benefits Consultants. Twenty prescription drugs saw their prices rise by more than 200% in the past 14 months.

"SynerDerm, a prescription skin cream, had the largest price hike. Phlight Pharma, the maker of SynerDerm , raised the list price by 1,468% over the past 14 months."

Read more here.
Bloomberg: Martin Shkreli's Going Away, America's Drug-Price Problem Isn't

"Old medicines are still sold at inflated prices because there's no mechanism to compel drugmakers to lower them. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. massively increased the price of Glumetza -- an extended-release version of metformin, a drug discovered nearly a century ago and approved in the U.S. in 1995 -- after buying it in 2015. Valeant is under new management but still benefits from the inflated price: The drug was its 10th best-selling product in 2017 and generated $133 million in revenue.

"The problem isn't just with old-old drugs, but also new-old drugs. PTC Therapeutics Inc. is selling Emflaza -- a steroid available for $1,000 to $2000 a year elsewhere in the world -- for $35,000 in the U.S. after buying it from the company that got it approved by the FDA last year."

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