Why do we allow our plutocracy to screw us through their bought politicians, media, and lobbyist? We bring this on ourselves by allowing them to use smoke and mirrors to divide us which encourage a willful gullibility. Why would an old drug cost $39,000 where efficacy and research are already known? -- because the crooks can get away with it.
Pharmaceutical companies are nothing but crooks as they legally steal from Americans who are in one of the worst health care system in the OECD. CNN for a change wrote an in-depth report on the drug Acthar.
"Mallinckrodt has invested substantially in H.P. Acthar Gel since acquiring it in 2014, generating further data supporting its use, and has made only modest price adjustments. The company has acted and continues to act responsibly and ethically in its dealings with healthcare practitioners and others."
Since Mallinckrodt purchased the drug from Questcor in 2014, the price of Acthar has gone from $32,000 a vial to nearly $39,000. In 2000, before Questcor purchased it, it was $40. Questcor shocked the medical community when, on August 27, 2007, it raised the price overnight from $1,600 to $23,000 a vial.
Last year, Mallinckrodt paid $100 million without admitting liability to settle a lawsuit by the Federal Trade Commission and five states stemming from Questcor's purchase of a competitor drug that the FTC said "threatened its monopoly."
What is interesting is there is no reason to use this drug because there are options that are orders of magnitude cheaper.
Acthar is best known for treating babies with infantile spasms, a rare and catastrophic form of epilepsy. Hartung, an associate professor at Oregon State's College of Pharmacy, said he found it troubling the drug is being marketed in adult medicine, with taxpayers footing the bill for hundreds of millions of dollars.
"The evidence that this drug is any better than synthetic steroids is either weak or does not exist," Hartung told CNN.
Mallinckrodt's recent push in the fields of rheumatology, nephrology and multiple sclerosis, he said, was the result of the drugmaker's "aggressive marketing for a number of conditions that, while having an FDA indication, are poorly supported by the medical evidence." ...
A steroid like prednisone can cost as little as $2.50 for a bottle of pills -- less than a venti coffee from Starbucks -- compared to Acthar at nearly $39,000 a vial of injectable liquid. Over a course of treatment, those figures get even more dramatic: $7.50 for three bottles of prednisone vs. $117,000 for three vials of Acthar.
"The continued growth in [Acthar] use is peculiar given its very high cost, widespread negative media coverage, and notable lack of evidence supporting its use over lower-cost corticosteroids," the authors wrote.
The findings in Friday's study, which focused on 2015 Medicare claims and 2015 payment data, appeared to back up much of CNN's data analysis, which looked at Medicare claims for 2016 -- the latest year for which data is available -- and payments dating back to 2013, the first year for which those numbers are available.
When you hear Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats talk about health care and the market, beware. Healthcare does not belong in the market because the customer, the patient, can never be knowledgeable enough or do they have the ultimate say in their care. We have all the evidence to prove that the market fails healthcare. We also have all the evidence that proves a single-payer Medicare for All option is the absolute best option to provide health care services.