Tuesday, October 13, 2015

400,000 Citizens To Lose Health Insurance (Again) Because Of Obamacare Co-Op Failures | Galen Institute

400,000 Citizens To Lose Health Insurance (Again) Because Of Obamacare Co-Op Failures | Galen Institute



CMS Undermines Real Cost Savings for Consumers



The Obama administration is proposing a Medicare payment rule that would have the effect of clamping price controls on biosimilar drugs, extending destructive pricing policies to a potentially vibrant 21st century life sciences industry.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed a rule that would guide how Medicare pays for a new class of medicines used in physicians’ offices and hospitals. The new medicines are designed to imitate the therapeutic effect of biologics—medicines created in the laboratory but derived from living organisms that lock into the body’s own biological processes to treat cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and other diseases

Her proposals to rein in prescription drug costs involve forcing pharmaceutical companies to meet a government quota for investing in research, denying companies tax breaks for consumer advertising, and capping out-of-pocket expenses for individuals with chronic health problems. Those are the new ideas.
Clinton also is recycling ideas to allow Americans to import cheaper drugs from abroad, allow Medicare to “negotiate” prescription drug prices, and reduce the patent life for innovative drugs—stale old ideas that have failed to gain bipartisan traction.
Her government-centric solutions would impede creation of new treatments and cures, restrict access to medicines for patients, and, by distorting markets and treatment decisions, ultimately drive up health costs. The dangers are addressed here, here, and here.

A  Bad Actor, Not A Pharmaceutical Innovator Causes Outrage over Drug Prices.
A profiteer masquerading as a pharmaceutical company executive has set the Internet afire with his 5,000% price increase for a rare but important drug used by AIDS and some cancer patients.
Martin Shkreli, a 32-year-old former hedge fund manager, cornered the market on Daraprim, a drug used to treat a life-threatening parasitic infection. His start-up company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, bought rights to this old but effective generic drug and used his temporary monopoly power to dramatically jack up prices.
Shkreli is by no stretch of the imagination a pharmaceutical innovator, yet The Washington Postused the news to implicitly indict the industry in a front-page article, “Pricey pill is rare case of transparency in health care.”
“Shkreli’s actions were shocking for a simple reason: It was an unusual moment of complete transparency in health care, where motives, prices and how the system works are rarely ever talked about so nakedly,” Post reporter Carolyn V. Johnson wrote.  “Shkreli’s company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of Daraprim from $18 to $750 per pill because he could.”
The article implies that these actions are a windowinto the pricing practices of other pharmaceutical companies.  Nothing could be further from the truth.
Established pharmaceutical companies invest billions of dollars in research over more than a decade to bring a single new drug to market.  Companies must recoup their investment if they are to continue to invest in research for new treatments and cures.
Comparing Turing Pharmaceuticals to established pharmaceutical companies does not have legs. Turing did not invest in creating this drug. It bought rights to a drug approved 62 years ago and which has sold for as little as $1 a pill by previous licensers.  Recouping years of investment in research was not Shkreli’s agenda.
Still, even someone as arrogant as Shkreli responds to public outrage over his outrageous price hike for Daraprim. After the public outcry, Shkreli said he would lower the price by a yet-undisclosed amount.  It is hard to see any justification for anything remotely close to the $750 price. He was taking advantage of a temporary monopoly on this drug to, in turn, take advantage of patients with cancer and AIDS. How much worse does it get?
What Shkreli needs is not only public pressure but genuine competition

 By Grace-Marie Turner 56 Changes so far to ObamaCare(PDF) By our count at the Galen Institute, more than 56 significant changes have been made to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, at least 35 that the Obama administration has…

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