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Sun Feb 22, 2015, 08:34 PM

The Drug That is Bankrupting America: Jeffrey Sachs, Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-sachs/the-drug-that-is-bankrupt_b_6692340.html

Jeffery Sachs,
Director, Earth Institute at Columbia University
Huffington Post
February 22, 2015
Posted: 02/16/2015 11:01 am EST Updated: 02/16/2015 6:59 pm EST

America is the land of breakthrough science -- and health care scams. The two seem to go hand in hand in the case of the new hepatitis C virus (HCV) cure named sofosbuvir, sold under the brand name Sovaldi by the drug company Gilead Sciences. There is no question that Solvadi is a godsend -- a lifesaver for millions of Americans, and perhaps someday for hundreds of millions of people around the world infected by Hepatitis C. Yet Sovaldi is also the poster child of a U.S. health care system that is being bankrupted by greed, lobbying and indefensible policies on drug pricing.

The basic facts are these. In December 2013, the Food and Drug Administration approved Sovaldi, and another formulation, Harvoni, which is sofosbuvir used in combination with another drug. Gilead set the price for a 12-week treatment course of Sovaldi at $84,000, amounting to $1,000 per pill. Gilead set the price of Harvoni at $94,000.

According to researchers at Liverpool University, the actual production costs of Sovaldi for the 12-week course is in the range $68-$136. Indeed, generic sofosbuvir is currently being marketed in India at $300 per treatment course, after India refused to grant Gilead a patent for the Indian market. In other words, the U.S. price-cost markup is roughly 1,000-to-1!

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Reply The Drug That is Bankrupting America: Jeffrey Sachs, Huffington Post (Original post)
Stuart G Feb 2015 OP
Dan Feb 2015 #1
Marie Marie Feb 2015 #2
Faryn Balyncd Feb 2015 #3
Indydem Feb 2015 #4
SoLeftIAmRight Feb 2015 #5
fasttense Feb 2015 #7
Hoppy Feb 2015 #6
Chakaconcarne Feb 2015 #8

Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Feb 22, 2015, 08:38 PM

1. Take a vacation to India

...smart move.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Feb 22, 2015, 10:17 PM

2. Drug companies are bigger thieves than the too big to fail banks.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Feb 22, 2015, 10:39 PM

3. We need to stop phony "trade deals" through which drug companies seek global tyranny.




If they succeed in expanding their monopoly power to the entire world, not only will India suffer, but they will be able to raise their $1000/pill price in the U.S., they will be able to cripple the generic pharmaceutical industry.

The huge increases in generic drug prices we have seen in the last few years (from $4 to over $100 in many cases) could be just the beginning. We might see $100/pill for generic amoxicillin.






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Response to Indydem (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 22, 2015, 11:53 PM

5. "helps"?

 

people die

what is your "perspective?

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Response to Indydem (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 23, 2015, 11:41 AM

7. Your link says that $1000 a pill and $84,000 a treatment is a deal compared to

 

a kidney transplant.

It's true a kidney transplant in the US costs about $600,000 or more. But in Canada and UK it may cost less than $2,000.00. So the argument here is that because the US puts life saving medical care out of reach for its middle class and poor people, it is ethical and socially acceptable to put the actual cure out of reach for the majority of its citizens too. But hay, the sick and suffering US citizen need only pay a bankrupting amount of money once to stay alive. Unlike when they get the disease and transplant where they get to pay huge amounts of money over and over again for the rest of their lives.

It also says:
"The higher prices that the United States pays, their argument goes, is what makes it desirable to keep developing really blockbuster drugs particularly those that patients won't have to take forever."

So US citizens have to pay really crazy amounts of money to corporations that are subsidized by US citizens while these same corporations pay almost NO TAXES on their huge profits, and whose owners pay practically no taxes on their wealth. US citizens then have to help fund these same corporations' research into making life saving medicine so the world can have life saving medicine. Yet all the while, US citizens get to pay bankrupting amounts of money so they can have the US funded researched and subsidized life saving medicine to stay alive. There is something really corrupt about this system.

And there is something really grotesque about this logic. It's as if the only thing that really matters is that the owners of the corporation make really really huge amounts of money off of sick, suffering and on the threshold of death, US citizens .

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon Feb 23, 2015, 07:41 AM

6. I want the $94,000 treatment.

 

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon Feb 23, 2015, 03:36 PM

8. Yeah, well check this out.....

A very LARGE percentage of inmates and mental health patients (government institutions) across this country have Hep C....and guess what happens when you DON'T treat them with this $84K medication? Think lawsuit....and do you think the drug mfr is aware of this? Pretty good chance, eh?

This is a very serious problem/moral dilemma. If this drug gets used, it could eat the entire medication budget for any institution treating these patients. A mental health patient might get their hep C treatment, but they won't be getting their anti-psychotic.

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