drug prices

The price of insulin continues to rise. But before jumping on du jour soundbites, knowing its history may help explain why our first wonder drug is now a chimeric poster child for the best and worse in the pharmaceutical industry.
When pharmaceutical companies jack up prices, it irritates everybody. And when people are irritated, politicians take the opportunity to do some grandstanding to win votes. Just a few days into its term, the House Oversight Committee in the new Congress has already launched an investigation into drug pricing. Is that justified? Not really.
Epic patent gaming, and pay-for-delay agreements to slow-walk introduction of cheaper generics to market, helped bring us to this point. But will a growing behemoth of 750 hospitals actually lower drug prices?
The pharmaceutical industry does not make a move without knowing what is coming down the pike, or without global projections years into the future. This latest maneuver is standard fare.
The interaction of supply and demand is an initial economic lesson. The FDA approves new drug's safety and efficacy. But it's the payers – Medicare and the insurance companies – that determine the true supply. Before we begin to discuss cost, let's first learn about supply.
Trump officials made a big splash with proposals to curb drug costs. But the benefits may not match the rhetoric from either the administration or Big Pharma. As is often the case, it's a bit more complicated than what we're getting as a first impression.
Using patient safety as a bargaining chip, and a tactic of delay, is unseemly at best and immoral at worst. 
The "American healthcare costs vs the rest of the world" narrative has been with us forever and this is unlikely to change. But it is not a simple problem, even though it is portrayed as just that. Pfizer's Dr. Robert Popovian takes his usual thoughtful look at thorny issues in his latest piece in Morning Consult. Don't miss.
In the 1970s, there was the Ford Pinto and Nehru jackets. In the 80s, pet rocks and the mullet. Since then we've been treated to house flipping, speed dating, Honey Boo Boo, and gluten-free everything. Pretty dumb, no? Not when compared to making your own prescription drugs at home. That's *really* dumb. And real. Sort of. 
What explains such a rapid rise in price for a drug that has been off-patent for years?
With the issue of drug pricing currently in the news, The New York Times ran an editorial decrying prices that are "too high," while failing to truly address the real issues. Instead, the paper took the easy way out by linking Turing's price gouging to pricing methods of established pharmaceutical makers.
In August, Jimmy Carter was diagnosed with melanoma in his liver and brain. These lesions were addressed directly, he was put on Keytruda and now the former president is in remission. But since this new drug costs about $150,000 per year, we ask: Shouldn't we be talking about this?