The Daraprim Case: How a Drug’s Price Rose by 75,000 %

Pyrimethamine2DACS.svgBy Simon Gottwalt. The recent price hike of Daraprim, a 62 year old medicine used against toxoplasmosis, created a massive public outcry against Turing Pharmaceuticals, who had just acquired the drug, and its CEO Martin Shkreli, making him “the most hated man in America”. How is it possible that the cost of a pill whose patent has long expired goes through the roof overnight? Continue reading

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Nepal blockade: Doctors warn of medicine crisis

NepalDoctors in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, say hospitals are running out of medicines because of a blockade by protesters on the border with India. The blockade has also prevented the delivery of earthquake relief supplies. Continue reading

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Protesters in Brasil decry unaffordable prices of HCV drugs

protesto1 João Pessoa – During the joint 10th AIDS/3rd hepatitis congress, demonstrators took the street and hall to complain about the unsustainable price of the new hepatitis C (HCV) drug sofosbuvir. Many patients in need are under threat to remain uncovered in the government’s treatment scheme. Continue reading

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Health Groups Ask Senate for Changes to FDA Priority Review Voucher Program for Neglected Diseases

MSF, November 19, 2015. On November 17, 2015, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the American Thoracic Society, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development, the IDSA Center for Global Health Policy, the Sabin Vaccine Institute, and the Treatment Action Group sent a letter to the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) leadership asking for amendments to fix critical flaws in the US Food and Drug Administration’s Priority Review Voucher (PRV) program for neglected diseases. Continue reading

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Swiss drugmaker Roche launches costliest cancer drugs in India

49668511Economic Times, November 26, 2015. Mumbai: As insurers, patients and governments across the world debate over the rising cost of healthcare, Swiss pharmaceutical major Roche has boldly launched two new drugs for late-stage breast cancer, pricing them higher than any other cancer medicine in the Indian market. Continue reading

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$750/pill pharma company reverses decision to lower drug price

Shkreli2Turing Pharmaceuticals AG will not reverse its decision to raise the price of a decades-old drug, Daraprim, by more than 5,000 percent, backing out of previous statements that it would cut the cost by the end of the year. Continue reading

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Big Pharma owes a debt to society

Drug-Prices-Round-Robin-graphicProvidence Journal, November 3, 2015. By Mariana Mazzucato. When Martin Shkreli of Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price for Daraprim by 5,455 percent, he put drug pricing on the agenda for the leading 2016 presidential candidates. Bernie Sanders is reported to have rejected Shkreli’s campaign donation, and Hillary Rodham Clinton came out with a plan to tackle spiraling costs. Even Donald Trump called Shkreli a spoiled brat. Continue reading

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Secretary-General Appoints Two Former Presidents, 14 Others as Members of High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines

UNUnited Nations, November 19, 2015. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today the establishment of a high-level panel on health technology innovation and access.
Comprising 16 eminent, well-respected individuals with a deep knowledge and understanding of the broad range of trade, public health, human rights and legal issues associated with access to treatment, the panel’s co-chairs are Ruth Dreifuss, former President of Switzerland, and Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana. Continue reading

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