TEN days to go. Welcome to the Week In Review.
1. Dubious Discount Cards…Disappear?
- The Trump administration’s vow to deliver $200 drug coupons to Medicare beneficiaries before Election Day is a no-go, according to Medicare officials. Such a move may violate election law and has triggered congressional requests to review the plan. What Americans desperately need now is lasting reform to lower drug prices, not another political ploy that changes nothing for the millions of people suffering under Big Pharma’s greed. — (The New York Times)
2. Stage Set for Drug Pricing Reform in 2021
- In 2021, Congress is expected to continue its push to lower drug prices that was — understandably — interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Regardless of the makeup of the 117th Congress, one thing is certain: Our legislators must work together to stand up to Big Pharma and provide relief to all Americans. — (FierceHealthcare)
3. Double-Charged in a Pandemic
- Billions of dollars in federal funding flowed to pharma’s coffers to develop COVID-19 vaccines. Now, pharma plans to charge Americans a second time for the taxpayer-funded doses and make a killing on the public investment. This game is rigged — we’re being set up to pay twice. — (Salon)
4. Oh, COME ON
- The FDA on Thursday approved Gilead’s COVID-19 drug remdesivir, only days after data from a WHO megastudy suggested the drug had “little to no” effect on COVID-19 patients and did not prevent death. Even so, one course of treatment for the taxpayer-funded drug is $3,120, a price that ignores the massive taxpayer support that prompted its creation. Accessibility to an expensive COVID-19 treatment with mixed reviews shouldn’t be one more thing we need to worry about. — (STAT)
5. Milking Mayhem
- Pfizer could make as much as $3.5 billion next year from its potential COVID-19 vaccine and $1.4 billion in the years following, according to analysts. Drug corporations are treating this unprecedented public health crisis as a way to cash in. — (FiercePharma)