Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Winter sales.....increase profits.

In the UK, January used to be known for its sales, to encourage people to part with abit more cash after chrimbo. 

However as Christmas now seems to begin in Septemebr/October the sales are on before christmas.

January in MS world is also a time for sales...but it seems it is increasing sales.......as the companies eek out abit more profit.

In this exert from the MS News website (click)

"Biogen began the new year by upping the price of  Tecifidera,

Avonex and Plegridy 8%.  Tysabri got a 3.5% price hike. This is on top of a 4% price boost in December 2015 and another 5% in May, 2016 for the first three drugs, and increases of 5% in July 2015 and January 2016 for Tysabri".

"What does this mean in terms of dollars?.....estimates a year of Tecfidera now costs about $83,000. Avonex and Plegridy........a price tag of about $81,000".

"Gilenya made by Novartis, and Serono’s Rebif are in the high-priced group. And, on January 1, Teva boosted the price of Copaxone, the top-selling MS drug, by 8%, bringing it to around $76,000 a year".

Happy New Year. So the effective MS cartel prevails, the drugs clearly have different levels of efficacy/risk, but if it comes with a lower price tag the risk of being seen as inferior? 

This is surely too much risk and so price hikes all round and more spending on Marketing:-(.

When will this upward spiral stop?

Maybe once disruptors occur, but have generics made any impact?
The price hikes allow the generic makers to increase their prices too.

However, it does mean that NICE and NHS will be ensuring that approaval takes time and and pwMS won't be getting access to new treatments anytime soon.


23 comments:

  1. Price hikes don't affect the NHS. This is a problem for Trump and the US insurance companies.

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    Replies
    1. This is getting a price hike in before Trump comes down on Pharma like a ton of bricks.

      http://www.usnews.com/news/health-care-news/articles/2017-01-11/donald-trump-takes-on-drug-prices-says-industry-getting-away-with-murder

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    2. "Trump is good for health (meaning pharma)" I overheard an analyst saying?

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    3. Pharma is in good hands now that Trump is president. They can freely raise drug prices, insurance companies can continue denying coverage. It saddens me when people from the UK complain about the NHS. Feel lucky that you at least have some coverage!

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    4. Don't even have to click on the link just read it.

      http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/11/biotech-stocks-plunge-after-trump-says-drugmakers-are-getting-away-with-murder.html

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  2. Do these increases affect NHS or those who pay privately/insurance companies?

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    Replies
    1. As I understand it, NICE negotiate price with pharma which is effectively fixed for 10 years until patent runs out. In theory market open to competitors (generics) from then and price tumbles. In practice pharma often develop and market improved versions of original towards patent end eg Teva Copaxone 3x weekly.
      Would love to be a fly on the wall (or mouse in the corner?) at pharma NICE negotiations and see what goes on

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    2. It's a contentious point that Copaxone has been "improved", rather than attempting to squeeze the last drops of profit out of the lemon. Generic Copaxone not much cheaper either, which I can't understand so the price certainly doesn't tumble. Once again the charging strategy is what the market will stand, rather than reduce price to increase market share ie the cartel still operates.
      "The annual cost for the FDA-approved generic glatiramer acetate will be approximately $63,000, placing it in the same price range as branded MS drugs. Although this is $11,000 a year lower than the original branded Copaxone, 20 mg given once a day (approximately $74,000 a year), it is only $2000 a year lower than new branded Copaxone, 40 mg, which is given just three times a week (approximately $65,000 a year)."

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    3. Yes, by 'improved' read 'remarketed' although concede for a product with injection site reactions that is an improvement. I do remember reading the marketing info when first choosing a DMT 11 years ago one of the Copaxone selling points was 'do something to fight your MS everyday' guess they had to scratch that one ;-)

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    4. Once the patent of the thrice a week expires we will have "do something to fight your Ms everyweek I suspect"

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  3. Make a case, run a good trial of methotrexate against interferons - I know what I would put my bet on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not MTX but Azathioprine:

      http://multiple-sclerosis-research.blogspot.com/2014/11/cheap-as-chips-azathioprine-is-better.html

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    2. My bet is they are both low efficacy...Why bother? we know the result
      before doing a trial

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  4. Alemtuzumab's looking better...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For how long?

      referring to Ocrelizumab ?
      is it safer?

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    2. Yes
      Depends how it is used but does not cause secondary autoimmunities

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    3. However it is not without its problems

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  5. Just read this...would like to know your thoughts...

    http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170130006215/en/Teva-Confirms-District-Court-Decision-COPAXONE®-40

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It looks like the patents relating to the high dose copaxone have been challenged and presumably have been found to lack novelty inventiveness or is obvious to someone skilled in the art when the patent was filled.

      I can't comment as there is an appeal although I have had a look at the patents. During the appeal process teva will continue to have the monopoly and will not doubt made a shed load...However not a good day for MS pharma.

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  6. Hmm, interestingly enough Copaxone 40 mg in Russia would cost one less than USD 5k/year (at current exchange rate), like 15 times less than the price tag mentioned in the article. So I presume it's a special price that Teva set for some of the less developed markets?

    ReplyDelete

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