FROM Aaron Kesselheim
An old drug gets a ridiculously high price….again Are incentives for so-called "orphan drugs" being misused to jack up the price of one medication by 4000 percent? Photo by Chris Potter A rare form of muscular dystrophy has long been treated in the US by a steroid imported from overseas at a price of $1200 a year. Now the FDA has approved its manufacture and distribution in this country by the drug company Marathon. The new price is $89,000 a year — reduced to $54,000 after rebates and discounts. We get perspective from Carolyn Johnson, who covers the business of medicine for the Washington Post , and Dr. Aaron Kesselheim, a professor of medicine at Harvard, where he's also Director of the program on Regulation, Therapeutics and Law.
Doctors, Drug Companies and Transparency In an effort to get doctors to prescribe their drugs to patients, drug makers spend billions of dollars a year on meals, speaking and consulting fees, and other perks for physicians. Today, a new government database goes online that will list the money pharmaceutical companies spend on doctors.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.