Drug Pricing

This is a true story..

She was postmenopausal and had developed vaginal dryness. Her desire for sexual activity had decreased due to this discomfort. It was not a medical emergency, it was about the quality of life and her relationship with her partner. Rather than settling for less sex, she opted for bio-identical estradiol cream. She was shocked to learn that there were 1) no FDA approved generic options available and 2) the COST.

She shouldn't have been surprised considering that the price of many drugs has risen exorbitantly.

Makena, a drug for preterm labor was increased from $35 per dose to $1500 per dose. The pharmaceutical company subsequently reduce the price by 50%.

Harvoni, a drug for Hepatitis C, a 12 week course of this medication costs over $90,000

Daraprim, a drug for Toxoplasmosis, the price of one tablet was increased from $13.50 to $750.

It is not uncommon for cancer treatment medications to cost over six figures annually.

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced a public forum to explore pharmaceutical innovation, access, affordability and better health on November 20 in Washington, DC. There will be a live webcast of this forum. We should all be paying attention. For more information visit: http://www.hhs.gov/hhspharmaceuticalforum

Author
Sharan Abdul-Rahman, MD

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