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HUR
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http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/07/opinion/ignagni-hepatitis-c-drug/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

Quote :
"Health care experts recently gathered at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta to discuss the public health crisis of hepatitis C, which is ravaging communities across America, and the budding hope that we may soon be able to eliminate it with a prescription medicine called Sovaldi.

.....

at $1,000 per pill, Sovaldi costs $84,000 for a single course of treatment, and well over $100,000 when combined with other medications, as is generally the case. If every person with hepatitis C were treated with Sovaldi alone at this price, the cost would be more than $268 billion. For some perspective, consider that in 2012, the United States spent $263 billion for all prescription drugs.

.....

Although these specialty drugs only account for 1% of the prescription drugs in this country, they already represent 25% of the total cost, on the way to 50%."


I consider myself a libertarian but the astronomical prices for this drug is absurd. Considering that healthcare, due to the role of health insurance and now moreso with Obamacare, is a shared cost among all citizens in society; the ability of Big Pharma to monopolize and charge $texas for life-saving drugs should be looked into by law makers. Even though i do not have Hep C, the cost of paying for an individuals treatment is shared by all participants in the insurance pool. In the case of individuals on Medicare/Medicaid this cost is eaten by the tax-payer.

I understand that there needs to be a financial incentive and profit enticement to allow drug discovery to happen. There should be some balance though. As the article highlights

Quote :
"ust think, could we have eradicated polio or smallpox if the treatments were priced like hepatitis C?"


thoughts?

7/8/2014 7:48:43 AM

Sayer
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*shrug* Drugs cost a LOT of money to develop.

Think about all the costs associated with developing a new drug, going through all phases of trials, insurance, litigation, approvals, etc. Depending on all these expenses, pharma companies can be fronting a shit ton of money before their products ever get approved or sold. They have a right to recoup that money and make a profit, which they will no doubt turn around and invest in the development of newer drugs.

Plus not all drugs a pharma company develops are going to get approved or even past trials. That's just money down the drain, they don't get that back.

Are some drugs prohibitively expensive? Yeah. But there is a lot more that goes into it other than "Big mean pharma company is raping our wallets and killing people because their drugs aren't cheap enough for every sick person to buy!"

7/8/2014 8:49:54 AM

HUR
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There is a fine line between "re-couping" costs and price gouging a cornered market for which you have a monopoly. I don't want my premiums going up or my taxes paying the medicaid/medicare b.c some big pharma company knows it can line its pockets selling a product with a rather inelastic demand curve.

Drug discovery and the large overhead with developing a drug is not new. The article addresses the ever increasing pushing of the envelope of higher prices companies are selling their drugs for. Also if you read these companies are selling the same drugs overseas at a fraction of the cost. So essentially we are subsidizing Egypt and the rest of the world.

[Edited on July 8, 2014 at 9:18 AM. Reason : a]

7/8/2014 9:16:18 AM

TerdFerguson
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Quote :
"Gilead is on pace to recoup the full cost of its $11 billion investment in just over one year."

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2014/06/17/the-sovaldi-tax-gilead-cant-justify-the-price-its-asking-americans-to-pay/

Gilead has authorized $10 billion in stock buybacks between 2011 and 2017
http://www.gilead.com/news/press-releases/2014/5/gilead-announces-5-billion-share-repurchase-program

While its total REVENUES per year are between $9-11 billion and contributing around $2 billion per year to research and development.
http://www.gilead.com/news/press-releases/2014/2/gilead-sciences-announces-fourth-quarter-and-full-year-2013-financial-results


I don't really have a solution to this problem, I just think the economy in general is suffering from these huge stock buyback programs

7/8/2014 10:34:26 AM

HUR
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Quote :
"A cure for hepatitis C is within reach for 170 million people around the world — thanks to the charitable efforts of poor and sick Americans who are picking up the tab by paying outrageous prices for their own treatment. It’s like Robin Hood in reverse.

This is what happens when a pill is priced at $1,000 a day in the U.S., and an entire treatment regimen of 84 of those pills costs just $900 in Egypt. Exact same medicine, completely different pricing."


LOLz sad forbes isn't even supporting them...

I'd like to hear the hyper-conservative pundits on this websites rebuttal defending them...

Quote :
"Gilead did not invent Sovaldi, but it bought the company that did for $11 billion. "


So much for the moaning about research and discovery costs!

[Edited on July 8, 2014 at 10:45 AM. Reason : a]

7/8/2014 10:43:41 AM

rjrumfel
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Has no one here been close to a cancer paitent?

My mom had lung cancer and they put her on one of the newer (at the time) chemotherapies available. It cost 30k per treatment, and she required 3 treatments.

7/8/2014 10:56:16 AM

dtownral
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... and?

7/8/2014 11:19:19 AM

rjrumfel
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Well, HUR is making it kinda sound like outragious prices for medicine is something new. Cancer patients have been going through this for years. Where's the outrage there?

7/8/2014 11:28:52 AM

Sayer
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So the only reason Gilead's US pricing is so expensive is that Gilead is greedy and wants as much money as possible?

7/8/2014 11:48:15 AM

mrfrog

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Quote :
"While its total REVENUES per year are between $9-11 billion and contributing around $2 billion per year to research and development.
http://www.gilead.com/news/press-releases/2014/2/gilead-sciences-announces-fourth-quarter-and-full-year-2013-financial-results


I don't really have a solution to this problem, I just think the economy in general is suffering from these huge stock buyback programs"


As-stated, I find nothing compelling about this. So they have $3 billion go to profits and $2 billion go to R&D. That doesn't suggest any panacea. Also look at their other expenses:

Costs of goods sold $2.8 B
Sales $1.7 B
Taxes $1 B
Interest $0.3 B

Nothing really jumps out, to tell you the truth. Of course this is a rather biased source. Do we really believe that production of the product costs that much? It would seem to be a flagrant contradiction of the fact that they sell it for such low cost in other nations. They would be losing money on every pill sold! Alternatively, perhaps the US sales justify building the factory to produce the chemicals, and then the marginal cost is low so they'll sell internally at a marginal profit, but all-around below-cost. That is not compelling to me.

I've also given up the hate on stock buybacks. A company is either reinvesting or distributing. Since corporate profits are unsustainably high as a fraction of GDP, distributing their revenue is clearly the way to go. Now they'll either do that with distributions (dividends) or buybacks. Frankly my preference would be dividends, because buybacks run the risk of spending their money on overvalued stock. What's worse, they'll only buyback with the stock prices are high, because the money comes from revenue in the first place. On the other hand, they have a tax advantage over dividends, and if you believe in a somewhat efficient marketplace, then investors will cash out slowly in a somewhat stable mechanism of compensation via exponential price growth.

You won't get anywhere attacking a 27% profit margin on a drug company. As long as you are looking to the market for development of drugs, this is what you have to live with. According to them, at least, it costs so much because making new drugs is goddam expensive.

Should we simply stop developing expensive drugs? Hell, maybe so. If we saw no further advances in medicine, we could still continue to live the quality of life we have today. One thing I'm sure of is that we've screwed the pooch in commodifying the simple health services.

7/8/2014 12:01:41 PM

Wyld Stallyn
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If you guys treated yourselves with crystals, this wouldn't be an issue.

7/8/2014 1:05:20 PM

dtownral
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Quote :
"Well, HUR is making it kinda sound like outragious prices for medicine is something new. Cancer patients have been going through this for years. Where's the outrage there?"

Where is he making it sound like something new? He is just making it sound like something and using a current example.

I mean who is okay with the cost of cancer treatment? Why are you trying to make something controversial where no controversy exists? Why is your gut reaction to protect the status quo?

7/8/2014 1:10:06 PM

rjrumfel
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Don't put words in my mouth. I'm not protecting the status quo.

But as long as people are willing to pay for it, these companies will charge it. What are the other options? To have government come in and set a price ceiling for life-saving drugs?

I think it is an interesting moral issue that we have on our hands. You have private companies that are holding onto what is essentially a gateway to life for many people in this country, but many can't afford it, so do you have their blood on your hands? Are you to blame for not allowing access to the drugs for which you hold a patent?

Of course I guess the same could be said for 3rd world countries where things like measles and smallpox are still rampant. Why do those diseases exist anywhere in the world today?

7/8/2014 1:32:14 PM

dtownral
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Quote :
"But as long as people are willing to pay for it, these companies will charge it. What are the other options? To have government come in and set a price ceiling for life-saving drugs?
"

i see the problem, you've totally missed the point

7/8/2014 1:41:43 PM

Bullet
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Quote :
"hat are the other options? To have government come in and set a price ceiling for life-saving drugs?"


yes?

7/8/2014 1:47:15 PM

dtownral
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And lets all ignore how much the government underwrites medical research both explicitly through grants and organizations and also through providing a strong network of public research universities.

7/8/2014 1:49:40 PM

HUR
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^ stop your communist talk. Corporations are entitled to their limitless profits at the expense to the common good and to have their losses subsidized once they are "too big to fail".

Just look at the how wonderful Texas is doing with their privatization of the water supplies and Rule Of Capture precedent!

7/8/2014 1:55:41 PM

mrfrog

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Quote :
"But as long as people are willing to pay for it, these companies will charge it. What are the other options? To have government come in and set a price ceiling for life-saving drugs?"


Depends. Why should we be relying on companies to be developing life-saving drugs in the first place? Or why should we be relying on them to tackle epidemics which are public health issues. Leave it up to the free market to get vaccinations, and obviously there is little marginal benefit for the individual. This is Econ 101. The benefit-costs equations say "don't get vaccinated". But that's only when you give the acting power to the individual. If you're socialist scum like myself, then money would collectively be used to research the cure and apply it uniformly.

Ethically, I think it makes the most sense to spend a relatively constant amount of resources on research into lifesaving cures and defense against epidemics. In these areas, I don't think it makes sense to use the market at all. This is plainly rationing. We spend some constant amount of resources saving lives and then we stop. Priorities are then set by public health experts.

Already, a huge amount of medical research is funded publicly. The background for even this drug probably has tentacles that trace back to public research.

But no company should be developing a drug with the expectation that it'll be covered by insurance because it is (in some sense) absolutely necessary for the afflicted individuals. Combined with the profit motive, this sounds like a god-awful way to run the nation.

7/8/2014 1:58:20 PM

wdprice3
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Quote :
"This is what happens when a pill is priced at $1,000 a day in the U.S., and an entire treatment regimen of 84 of those pills costs just $900 in Egypt. Exact same medicine, completely different pricing."


This. Fuck pharma. I don't disagree with companies recouping their costs + profit, but when citizens of one country pay $100,000 for treatment and those of another pay $1000, someone's getting fucked hard.

7/8/2014 1:58:57 PM

rjrumfel
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Yea I want to see why it costs so little in other countries. Maybe because there isn't an underlying infrastructure that will pay for the inflated prices?

7/8/2014 2:16:49 PM

A Tanzarian
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Is it opposite day?

7/8/2014 3:10:37 PM

rjrumfel
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For the folks that like to make a point that the article is from Fox...the corresponding CNN article attacked it from the stance of Hillary. I'm trying not to be political here...

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2015/09/22/drug-price-changed-overnight-to-750-tablet-from-1350/?intcmp=hpbt3

This guy Martin Shkreli seems like a sleazebag. This isn't the first time he's done this. If he's claiming the new price is set because they want to invest in future research for a drug that does the same thing with less potential side effects, then someone needs to hold him to it.

9/22/2015 6:51:38 AM

Dentaldamn
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Great, so we all agree universal health care is a super idea?

9/22/2015 7:03:36 AM

rjrumfel
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No. No not at all. You aren't fixing the problem. You're just shuffling the burden of paying this ridiculous price onto someone else. What, are you thinking that our big government will just be able to bully these companies into cheaper prices? They'll just stop making it.

9/22/2015 8:32:21 AM

Dentaldamn
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Ok let me get this straight...

Someting has impacted YOUR life and YOU think something is too expensive and now YOU think something needs to be done to make it more affordable for YOU.

When it falls in line with YOUR means YOU will forget it's an issue.

Did I get that right?



[Edited on September 22, 2015 at 8:53 AM. Reason : Ggggggg]

9/22/2015 8:39:30 AM

dyne
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Several other countries sell the drug for $1-2 per pill. Might as well just hop on a plane and get em cheap.

9/22/2015 9:32:16 AM

dyne
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.

[Edited on September 22, 2015 at 9:32 AM. Reason : double post]

9/22/2015 9:32:16 AM

LoneSnark
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Quote :
"I consider myself a libertarian but the astronomical prices for this drug is absurd."

What is libertarian about the government arresting all your competitors to guarantee you a monopoly?

This is what happens when patents exist. Either we as a society use guns and courts to get them a monopoly using whatever force is necessary, with the resultant monopoly behavior, or we don't. I don't know how you can justify carving out exceptions here. $1000 a pill is just too much...well, if only a few thousand people want the pill, then that is a tiny amount of money they are going to make, merely a few million dollars. Meanwhile, other companies are charging only $100 a pill, but everyone has high blood pressure, so they're racking in hundreds of billions of dollars a year for many years and severely dislocating economic activity.

If you are outraged at the results of the patent system, then maybe the patent system needs to go. Maybe the only source of new drugs should be charity and government spending. Those suffering from the disease, or those that know people suffering, will invest their money in corporations looking for a cure, with no promise of patent profits after discovery. I can't think of anything more libertarian than that.

Of course, whatever we do, abolishing much of the FDA should be our first step. I believe it should not be a crime to try an FDA unapproved drug with a doctors prescription and signature acknowledging the drug has not been approved by the FDA. In this way, society can bypass the insanely expensive approval process imposed by the FDA, forcing the FDA to streamline itself to be more in line with society at large. The FDA should continue to certify drugs as either safe or effective, and continue with its regulation of labeling and disclosure requirements. But the process has only managed to become so expensive because it was mandatory. Fix the incentives by making it voluntary, and I'm sure the FDA will find some-how to make it more cost effective to determine if a drug is safe and effective.

Quote :
"What are the other options? To have government come in and set a price ceiling for life-saving drugs?"

Price caps are nearly always stupid. A drug that merely makes someone more comfortable at the price cap of $100 a pill attracts heavy investment, while a drug that saves lives goes undeveloped because it would cure with a single pill, which people would happily pay $10,000 for, but is price capped at $100. Price caps are an attempt to regulate around bad incentives. If the incentives are bad, no amount of micro-managing from the legislature will fix it. We need to fix the incentives.

9/22/2015 11:53:37 AM

HCH
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Thanks, Obama.

Simple case of supply and demand.

9/22/2015 12:06:54 PM

Dentaldamn
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totally obama's fault.

9/22/2015 12:21:52 PM

HUR
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^ How exactly is this Obama's fault and how would this not occur if Romney or one of our darling GOP presidential hopefuls were president? Remember "Corporations are People too"

Quote :
"
specialized drug a year, and because the proceeds will go toward developing a newer treatment with fewer side effects."


I want to see what % of this price increase is going to R&D versus this douches bonus...

9/22/2015 1:25:48 PM

synapse
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this guy seems like a real nice fellow

http://gawker.com/lawsuit-scumbag-pharma-price-gouger-stalked-and-harass-1732357240

9/22/2015 2:05:10 PM

rjrumfel
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That's my point. If they claim they need an extra $737/dose for R&D, I would like to make sure they are honest about it. I'm not calling for an artificial ceiling on the price of medication here, but don't raise the price like that and lie about it.

9/22/2015 6:06:45 PM

dtownral
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So you actually do want a price ceiling, you just want exceptions if someone can demonstrate that a higher price is needed for R&D

9/22/2015 8:14:14 PM

synapse
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^^ He wasn't blaming the price increase totally on R&D...he was also saying repeatedly "hey, we need to turn a profit here"

And they don't *need* the extra money for R&D. The douche is claiming they will use *some* of the revenue from increased prices to R&D a new more effective drug...it's a bullshit argument to begin with, and it's silly for you to act like it's valid in the first place.

Lastly: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2015/09/22/3704542/after-getting-shamed-for-5000-hike-most-hated-man-in-america-will-lower-drug-price/

9/22/2015 9:07:05 PM

Dentaldamn
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He wants a ceiling for prices he deems unreasonable.

9/22/2015 9:07:20 PM

LoneSnark
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Quote :
"So you actually do want a price ceiling, you just want exceptions if someone can demonstrate that a higher price is needed for R&D"

And suddenly the R&D division is buying $10,000 toilet seats from a different company which happens to have the same board of directors.

[Edited on September 22, 2015 at 9:11 PM. Reason : qte]

9/22/2015 9:10:28 PM

rjrumfel
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I'm not condoning this in any way. I'm just saying, if they are trying to justify this stupid price by saying it's for R&D, then they should be held to that statement as to make sure it isn't a phony one.

9/22/2015 9:34:33 PM

HUR
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Quote :
"denly the R&D division is buying $10,000 toilet seats from a different company which happens to have the same board of directors"


Good call!

When's the revolution going to start?

9/22/2015 11:22:35 PM

theDuke866
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I bought a few thousand worth of GILD a few months ago.


Also, as a side note, I always thought the jokes about thousand-dollar hammers were either jokes or indicative of something nefarious, but since becoming an engineer for a big defense contractor, I've seen plenty of things WAY worse than a thousand dollar hammer. I don't think they're nefarious; I think they're just companies having each other by the balls, or in other cases, multi-billion dollar companies working multi-billion dollar projects who are willing to pay exorbitant prices sometimes to get something done immediately, because the cost of delay is even worse (and sometimes the labor cost, and opportunity cost of focusing their talent on it, is way more than they'd save by finding something or someone else to serve the need.)

[Edited on September 22, 2015 at 11:30 PM. Reason : don't get me wrong...the waste is staggering.]

9/22/2015 11:29:47 PM

LoneSnark
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I was not talking about waste. I was suggesting that if only R&D is a legal expense, then suddenly profits will become an R&D expense.

9/23/2015 9:38:56 AM

synapse
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http://tinyurl.com/o56yt44

[Edited on September 23, 2015 at 11:03 AM. Reason : ok cupid profile]

9/23/2015 11:02:32 AM

HUR
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Quote :
"Martin Shkreli "


What attributes does this guy have for being CEO, remarkedly at such a young age?

Does being CEO mean he's smarter or more intelligent than even the lead scientists designing
the cures? Did he put in the most hours to claw his way to the talk?

Most likely i'm betting being CEO presumes he has anti-social traits in order to do whatever
it takes to swindle/deceive/trick others as a way of padding the bottom line. That and/or
he come from a prominent family.

Honestly with all the talks of CEO pay, it has me wondering what exactly makes a good CEO?
From my observations they are usually not the most intelligent/smartest in the company.
They merely tend to have charisma to encourage people to work hard for them OR they are capable
of putting their humanity in the dumpster to do whatever it takes to make the company money.

Quote :
"I always thought the jokes about thousand-dollar hammers were either jokes or indicative of something nefarious, but since becoming an engineer for a big defense contractor, I've seen plenty of things WAY worse than a thousand dollar hammer."


I used to work for a OEM that did stuff for the US Army Corp of Engineers and the hammer thing is no joke.
One-time they were "too busy" to answer simple questions regarding a project. Thus we did all the engineering per the contract and using our companies "best practices" to fill the gaps. When they finally got time to review our design package they decided that we had to rename EVERYTHING to follow the Army Corp's naming convention. A convention that was never provided to us. This involved changing the names of every device, cable, and individual conductor on every drawing, cable schedule, and re-wiring every cabinet since they all had wire labels. We did this after they gave us a $200K change-order. An expense that could have been avoided had someone taken 30 minutes to answer a e-mail we actually sent out asking for a preferred naming method from our company.

Just one example....

9/23/2015 4:36:28 PM

LoneSnark
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From Wiki-

On July 30, 2009 the FDA approved colchicine as a monotherapy for the treatment of three different indications (familial Mediterranean fever, acute gout flares, and for the prophylaxis of gout flares[21]), and gave URL Pharma a three-year marketing exclusivity agreement[22] in exchange for URL Pharma doing 17 new studies and investing $100 million into the product, of which $45 million went to the FDA for the application fee. URL Pharma raised the price from $0.09 per tablet to $4.85, and the FDA removed the older unapproved colchicine from the market in October 2010, both in oral and intravenous forms, but gave pharmacies the opportunity to buy up the older unapproved colchicine.[23] Colchicine in combination with probenecid has been FDA approved prior to 1982.[22]

9/26/2015 11:19:01 AM

beatsunc
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easiest way to fix crazy prices is make FDA approval for drugs optional.

9/30/2015 8:49:54 PM

HUR
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http://money.cnn.com/2015/10/20/investing/drug-price-hikes-martin-shkreli-valeant/index.html?iid=hp-grid-dom

Quote :
"Martin Shkreli is the poster boy for outrageous drug price hikes.
Shkreli, a former hedge fund manager and CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, bought a drug called Daraprim used by cancer and AIDS patients and raised its price by 5,000% overnight.

The thing is, he's hardly alone. A new analysis by an activist group called Hedge Clippers shows that at least 19 other drugs have experienced stunning price hikes of between 300% and 1,200% in just the past two years.
In most of the cases, the drugs are produced by firms that have either been backed by hedge funds, private-equity firms or venture capital firms

"



One would think that even Republicans would be outraged by price gouging in the phrama sector. Besides pissing off the elderly (which is a major chunk of their base) they are setting themselves for a push to socialize a lot of the orphan drugs.

By reigning in corporate greed now they can protect against a back-lash.

I also enjoyed the comments at the bottom of the article with people blaming Obamacare for the high prices . If legislation were enacted to cap prices these same baffoons would be screaming about free-markets, capitalism, etc.

10/20/2015 4:18:35 PM

0EPII1
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Fuck Martin

http://m.mic.com/articles/127246/you-can-now-buy-the-drug-pharma-bro-martin-shkreli-hiked-5-000-for-a-dollar

10/23/2015 10:40:59 AM

LoneSnark
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Sure, Obama's FDA hands out "marketing exclusivity agreements" in exchange for cash, and you blame the Republicans. No wonder people are confused.

10/24/2015 10:28:43 PM

HUR
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pharma bro lol

10/26/2015 5:03:44 PM

dyne
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lol, the moron got pinched.

http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2015-martin-shkreli-securities-fraud/

12/17/2015 9:45:14 AM

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