Drug pricing is a hot-button issue. And the reasons are clear enough. And it’s easy to sympathize with patients and doctors, and point fingers at greedy drug companies (who have, in many regards, earned the world’s dim view of them). And it’s worth remembering that the efficiency of a reasonably-free market is an empirical hypothesis, with greater or lesser certainty for different product categories. Whether government price controls will a) help patients, or b) hurt patients by hindering investment in the field, or c) a bit of both will vary case to case. Whether government would in general make things better or worse overall by doing more to regulate drug prices is a tricky question. >>>
LINK: A Huge Overnight Increase in a Drug’s Price Raises Protests (by Andrew Pollack for NYT)
Specialists in infectious disease are protesting a gigantic overnight increase in the price of a 62-year-old drug that is the standard of care for treating a life-threatening parasitic infection.
The drug, called Daraprim, was acquired in August by Turing Pharmaceuticals, a start-up run by a former hedge fund manager. Turing immediately raised the price to $750 a tablet from $13.50, bringing the annual cost of treatment for some patients to hundreds of thousands of dollars…..
One physician asks:
“What is it that they are doing differently that has led to this dramatic increase?” said Dr. Judith Aberg
The CEO of the company involved:
“This isn’t the greedy drug company trying to gouge patients, it is us trying to stay in business,” Mr. Shkreli said.
What do you think?