Monday, 29 February 2016

PoliticalSpeak & NewsSpeak: industry shenanigans

Pharma making things worse; the issue of high-cost drugs! #PoliticalSpeak #NewsSpeak #MSBlog #OffLabel

"Do you think Pharma should be spending money on advertising to justify why they charge so much for their innovative drugs? Have your say and let's continue the debate."



"Obviously, high-cost drugs and the reasons why they cost so much remains a political hot potato. We at Barts-MS consider this issue to be one of the major hurdles to the adoption of effective treatments for pwMS across the planet; this is a particular problem in resource-poor healthcare environments. This is why we are trying to get an initiative off  the ground to focus on this issue and is what drives our Barts-MS Essential Off-label MS DMT list. Pharma don't like our list, but what would you do if you had no medical insurance or lived in a country where MS was not a major priority of the government? Would you let MS run its natural course, and shred your brain and spinal cord, or would you give a cheap off-label drug a try? For me the decision is a 'no-brainer'; excuse the pun, I am using it to highlight the issue." 


Anne Gulland. MSF accuses Pfizer of misleading advertising. BMJ 2016;352:i896.

Excerpts:

...... The charity Médecins Sans Frontières has accused the drug company Pfizer of using misleading advertisements in an attempt to justify to MPs and the public the high prices it charges for drugs.....

..... The advertisements, displayed at Westminster underground station in London, the nearest stop to parliament, at the beginning of February, claimed that to bring a single drug to market cost more than £1bn and took more than 12 years in research and development and “immeasurable dedication.”....

...... MSF slapped posters over the advertisements disputing the claims and highlighting the role of university research and public money.....

5 comments:

  1. Don’t you feel this is a one way street? At first you allow to prescribe off-label to uninsured, then resource-poor countries would pick up, and evidence would mount all that time. And then payers would ask reasonable question “why should we pay billions for the lemtrada, look they got fludarabine cheap as dirt?”. I’m afraid budgetary considerations will prevail at that point

    I’m already afraid after Gilead’s “success” there would be problems searching for investors into small molecule therapeutics. It’s just a matter of time “generics” and illegal replicas would preempt original product from their key market and no kind of restrictions could stop this. Who would invest into the new development efforts after such a brilliant success story

    And with off label prescribing.. who would ever on earth invest into any drug development

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  2. Yet more food for thought re pharma.
    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/feb/29/tax-paid-by-ftse-100-firms-falls-by-nearly-a-quarter-since-2010

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  3. Ms Unites Monday, February 29, 2016 10:35:00 am

    It is a mess to be sure Prof G.

    I wish I knew an answer. This is not only applicable to MS but many disorders.

    Pharma is business and the money it generates globally is economically significant. If health systems globally had some form of process/systems standardization or for that matter some measure of uniformity much would be possible.

    Money should never be placed over health, welfare, freedom and the basics of some measure of quality of life but it is, right across the boards and more.

    You are a great humanitarian sir as I have stated before as am I. We do what we do an extend ourselves for sake of 2.5 million people and the other millions that surround them.

    One would HOPE that nations around the world would work together towards solutions to these problems. When people put aside their own personal welfare for the sake of others anything is possible. History has shown this over and over again.

    RELIGIOUS COMMENTS REMOVED- IF YOU WANT TO MAKE RELIGIOUS COMMENTS GO TO CHURCH< MOSQUE, ETC BUT NOT HERE THANKS

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well I will illustrate to those who think that the cheaper drug policy for MS may "discourage" the scientific innovation of Big Pharma:
    Here in Brazil we are facing a serious political finaceira crisis (corruption scandal at Petrobras, numerous federal police operations about corruption schemes, etc.).
    So what we are beginning to experience is this financial crisis affect the real daily life of ordinary people. Inflation without brake and now the lack of high-cost medicines in all drugstores distribution of the Brazilian Unified Health System. I use Copaxone, for now I still can withdraw, but the various groups on social networks about MS in Brazil people are already reporting a lack of Gilenya (fingolimod), which in Brazil costs a little more expensive than the AG. They are saying that the drug is missing on 2 months ago. If this extend these people were without treatment? And probably this will affect the first-line drugs as well ...
    It is a fact to think, no can live hostage an entire industry and its heavy lobby ...

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    Replies
    1. (i know personal comments are forbidden, but it’s just to carry general point)

      The whole this situation can be viewed from the point of view that in general people do not see DMT’s as EFFECTIVE drugs, that is: they are ineffective.
      In case fingo would be effective drug, you would see tonns of unlicensed dirt cheap replicas everywhere like you see with direct acting atni-HCVs. One can find a 5 human*year worth supply of fingo hcl from 3-rd world synthesis labs available for under $400 bulk powder. But the market (and market is always two parties, even if it is grey/black) does not deem risks of producing, smuggling, distributing of such replicas worth anything. The simplest explanation there is no demand. There is demand for anti-HCVs: they are effective and guarantee you will be cured in 99.5%, so there is a market. What does fingo guarantee to it’s user? Probably the 99.5% chance he will get a cancer in long run.

      Delete

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