Drug Goes From $13.50 a Tablet to $750, Overnight


#502

I have never seen Jurors brought in individually for questioning, it was always done in a group setting (and has always been very entertaining). That’s just a sample set of 5 times over 20 years, but the cases ranged from murdering and abusing children aka ‘there is no way somebody hasn’t heard about this case’ to petty drug dealing.


#503

The Wu-Tang album may soon be the property of the American people - going from the most exclusive album of all time to the most widely owned.


#504

Rich people can move to a different country if this happens. Doesn’t bother them a bit.


#505

#506

I propose a new form of health insurance plan for pharmaceutical C suite scum. They pay everyone back the difference in the old price and the new price, immediately, and we don’t give them flying lessons from the roof.


#507

They pay and we throw them from 100 stories, they don’t pay and we throw them from 10ish.


#508

Throw them from the 100 stories and then deny their claim.


#509

You’ll have to keep doing this forever, though. This is just corporate officers maximizing shareholder value, which is their primary job.

… Which I know you know – I’m not trying to be pedantic. I’m just reflecting on the fact that our healthcare system is designed from the ground up to produce exactly this kind of result, yet we’re shocked when it happens. It’s example number eleventy-billion that we need fundamental change in how healthcare is delivered in this country.


#510

Shkreli will be president within the next 10 years.


#511

I don’t think this one was posted before:

What a business opportunity!


#512

But the story doesn’t end there. Late last year, Sun agreed to sell Keveyis to a biotech company, Strongbridge Biopharma, for $8.5 million. In April, Strongbridge relaunched the drug — and in August, it jacked the list price from $13,650 to $15,001 for a bottle of 100 pills.

In a PowerPoint presentation for investors, Strongbridge Biopharma estimated that the annual price of treatment for the drug, Keveyis, would range from $109,500 to $219,000, depending on the dosage the patient took. One slide shows that the drug is covered broadly by insurers. In November, the company announced $2.5 million in sales over the last quarter — a 67 percent increase over the previous quarter’s $1.5 million in sales. It said it would expand its sales force, and executives said in a conference call that the company’s medical affairs team had met with 75 medical leaders and was training speakers to lead “peer-to-peer educational programs.”

It looks like this is essentially a scam designed to get insurance companies to pay massive costs to them, in the hopes that folks wouldn’t notice.
(Ron Howard: “They noticed.”)

At prices like this, they clearly aren’t expecting individuals to pay that much… they’re expecting that since insurance already approved the drug, they’ll pay those costs until the insurance companies can restructure stuff. It’s a plan to make some quick cash, looks like.


#513

I hope we haven’t reached the point where we rely on insurance companies to police drug companies to prevent them from gouging insurance companies, and thus everyone with insurance. But I don’t see the GOP allowing regulations restricting the ‘free market’


#514

The insurance companies do a good job of policing the prices for themselves. Some would say too good. There are bills being introduced in state legislatures to prohibit insurance companies from removing drugs from their formularies mid-year in order to protect people who are relying on an already approved drug.


#515

This is true, although if that flexibility is removed then expect rates to jump on prescription plans. I mean, heaven forbid the government put limitations on the actual costs of the drugs.


#516

I have been told by a conservative colleague that regulation, in any form, is “pure evil”.

Okay.


#517

Do those bills also prevent the drug providers from raising the price mid-year? I have the same feeling reading this line as I do reviewing a set of code where the basic concepts aren’t properly represented.


#518

I think you could make the case that a lot of the regulations are making the situation worse overall. I mean, the drug maker in this case jumped through some regulatory hoops which gave them a government-enforced monopoly. Similar regulatory issues I think were behind the epi-pen costs, etc.


#519

Not quite. The drug is off patent and can be made and sold by anyone. It’s true that only one company can market it for use in paralysis (instead of glaucoma), but doctors are perfectly free to prescribe anyone’s version of any drug for any patient.