EpiPen alternative costs $4500 ($14 to $750) !!!!

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by chagla, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. chagla macrumors 6502a

    chagla

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    #1
    Welcome to the wonderful American healthcare system, the best in the world! (for insurance companies, that is). Potentially life saving EpiPen was increased from $14 to $750 by Mylan. Now alternative made by Kaleo costs $4500, starting today. This is nothing short of criminal but then if the gov't takes a laissez-faire approach and do not regulate these kinds of practices, patients and ordinary citizens have the most to lose. While they go bankrupt, big pharma and insurance company gets to deepen their pockets.

    So essentially it's $5 worth of drug.... I guess they can't charge $5 for drug + $20 fancy injector, sell it at $50 but at $4500!

    Full article on Guardian : https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/feb/13/kaleo-epipen-maker-alternative-drug-pharmaceutical
     
  2. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #2


    This is all I can think of when I read stories like this about runaway profiteering.
     
  3. npolly0212 macrumors 65816

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    #3
    How can they possibly think anyone would purchase this, when people already know 750 is outrageous?
     
  4. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #4
    Because, like every major Pharma company, you'll recognize the little tagline at the end "If you can't afford your Medication AstroZenica/GSK/Bayer/whoever may be able to help".

    What does that actually mean? They'll take what you can afford and bill the taxpayer via medicare or some other assistance program to get the rest of their enormous profit. It's taxpayer subsidies, because this is the United States of Corporate America.
     
  5. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #5
    There should be bills and laws written in which big pharma is limited in gross margin. $4.5k for something so simple as a $5 drug is beyond outrageous...

    or as our Supreme Leader would state: Terrible! Bad!
     
  6. npolly0212 macrumors 65816

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    #6
    Ah okay, I have never been one to use medications or anything or follow this stuff but now the I am dating someone who is a diabetic i am learning stuff about all the medicines
     
  7. Dmunjal macrumors 65816

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    #7
    The constant liberal cry. "There oughta be a law!" Increased competition solves this problem in a second. Of course the corrupt FDA prevents that.

    It's amazing people blame our healthcare system like it's pure capitalism. It is pure crony capitalism.

    You will never see this kind of price gouging in a real competitive marketplace.
     
  8. BeefCake 15 macrumors 65816

    BeefCake 15

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    #8
    No there shouldn't be a law limiting profit by any means on any industry, that's not a free market stance.

    The pharma industry is outrageously expensive to fund and good luck finding investors to do any research to compete with Epipen or others that pull this type of move (assuming they still have patent rights). FDA has issues but saying in this issue they're corrupt because of what EpiPen did means you have no idea what the FDA actually does.
     
  9. BoxerGT2.5 macrumors 68000

    BoxerGT2.5

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    #9
    No one is going to end up paying $4500. The insurance plans who signed on to cover Mylan's auto pen do so because it gives them an opportunity to increase their payout which justifies them increasing premiums on everyone in order to cover the X number of people who need Epipen's. Mylan has already stated cash price with no insurance is $360 for a pair. It's a train and everyone is lining up to pad their pockets while they do you dry.
     
  10. Snoopy4 macrumors 6502a

    Snoopy4

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    #10
    Someone has to subsidize the other countries with socialized medicine. Might as well be us and the free market.
     
  11. chagla thread starter macrumors 6502a

    chagla

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    #11
    So if your insurance plan does not cover it, and you happen to need this drug, you will buy from Mylan at full retail $360?
    And if your plan does cover it, do you think the insurance plan will end up costing more? So who is ultimately paying for it?
    The problem is not that this drug is subsidized by your plan, insurance companies will simply impose the burden on ordinary folks.

    Also if I remember correctly, even if someone is able to produce the same drug for way cheaper, they can't market it because the other company holds rights to sell it exclusively.
     
  12. samcraig macrumors P6

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    #12
  13. BoxerGT2.5 macrumors 68000

    BoxerGT2.5

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    #13
    Basically if you are a cash pay (no insurance) you will pay $360. Any insurance company who willing volunteers to pick up the tab for a drug that's just been marked up 1000% is doing so because the benefit on their end is they get to raise premiums.
     
  14. rjohnstone macrumors 68040

    rjohnstone

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    #14
    The Auvi-Q injector is superior to the EpiPen in that it talks you through the injection process.

    Many people fail to use EpiPens correctly. Broken needles, not holding it in place long enough, stabbing themselves instead of the patient due to unfamiliarity of the product (people in anaphylactic shock typically cannot inject themselves).
    Seriously, who the hell calls something a "pen" and then puts the pull tab on the top of it?
    Common sense says you pull the cap off the tip... not with an EpiPen. You pull the locking plug off the rear (top) and then stab with the other end.

    My daughter has to carry these damn things everywhere. And NO ONE buys a single two pack.
    At minimum, you're buying two packs.
    We have a pack at home, at her school (we pay for it), a pack on her when she goes out.
    The nice thing about the Auvi-Q is the size. EpiPens are bulky and you have to carry two at all times.
    My daughter had the Auvi-Q injectors when they were originally on the market and loved that they fit in a small purse.
     
  15. chagla thread starter macrumors 6502a

    chagla

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    #15
    So are we in agreement that greedy practices like these only hurt patients and ordinary consumers then? Do you think there should be regulations to stop it?
     
  16. rjohnstone macrumors 68040

    rjohnstone

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    #16
    Auvi-Q is not on any Medicare/Medicaid plan.
    They even state that on their website.
    They aren't on the formulary for those plans.
     
  17. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #17
    There is no such thing as "free market". A free market implies nothing stops the market from reaching potential, that includes rules, regulations and laws. For example, a free market would state that if you need to burn down a forrest for a new auto plant (because cheap labour is found there) you can do so without consequence. However, that is not the case as we would have the EPA and other regulatory agencies involved.

    We are a regulated market, in which laws can be drafted to control and guide companies/corporations. We already do that with several financial, industrial and comercial firms.

    I fail to see the difference or the liberal agenda in my post. Far from it, its a regulation based agenda. Create a cap from which no company can price gouge you. We already do that in many other cases.
     
  18. Dmunjal macrumors 65816

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    #18
    I know what the FDA does. I work in the biotech field. The whole process is a scam to support monopolies.

    https://stream.org/fda-engineered-epipen-monopoly/
     
  19. A.Goldberg, Feb 14, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017

    A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    #19
    Ahhh, welcome to my world. But while people are outraged with the cost of epipens, far more pravelent and chronically prescribed drugs double, triple, quadruple in price overnight and no one blinks twice despite ultimately being a much bigger burden on the healthcare system.

    Here's the actual out of pocket costs for customers...
    I would be VERY surprised if insurance companies actually covered the $4500 option when there is a $750 option. The only reason they would cover the $4500 option is if there is a backroom deal between the insurance/PBM and the manufacturer you and I will never know about.

    The article also mentions their Narcan/Nalaxone product, the opiate overdose drug. The generic version costs about $40 last I heard. I volunteer every now and then giving intranasal nalaxone trainings in the community where we give it out for free. The problem with the generic version is that it is somewhat complicated to assemble and is very delicate using a cheap plastic syringe and glass nalaxone vials that will break if dropped. There is another brand name Narcan product without the audio instructions that requires no assembly that costs hundreds. It would be nice to have another cheap $40 alternative.
     
  20. BoxerGT2.5 macrumors 68000

    BoxerGT2.5

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    #20
    Yeah, I think the drug and insurance industry is scratching each others backs and it's screwing the average Joe. I think more stories about drugs skyrocketing in price are good because if the drug makers keep it up it will force the governments hand to come down hard on them (screw "free enterprise", these are peoples lives we're talking about). Pretty soon expanding the FDA oversight to include price control/regulation will become a very real and talked about idea that gets kicked around. It's getting out of control and anyone who says "free market" likely has never needed these medications that people keep getting gouged over.
     
  21. Dmunjal macrumors 65816

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    Sheer idiocy. More power for the FDA means more cronyism and corruption. These drug manufacturers would never be able to get monopolistic pricing without goverment assistance.
     
  22. BoxerGT2.5 macrumors 68000

    BoxerGT2.5

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    #22
    What assistance would that be?
     
  23. BoxerGT2.5 macrumors 68000

    BoxerGT2.5

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    #24
  24. Dmunjal macrumors 65816

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    #25
    The government provides the best assistance a business can have. The removal of competition and a legalized monopoly. Pharmaceuticals isn't the only place that this happens.

    If you don't understand how a free market allows for competition and the best pricing, then I can't help you.

    As for generics, they can price according to the general market dynamic already in place.

    Regulations are required but regulations that allow for corruption and favoritism isn't.
     

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