Health care is delivered by an industry more interested in financial return than access, quality of care, efficiency or value. It has become a financial play. As an industry it offers a customer base that is desperate; products often with limited to no competition; and a market that’s protected by patents and a disinterested (paid off) congress.
But Shkreli isn’t the only abusive drug company CEO. Consider these:
The company reported revenue from Xyrem of $29 million in 2006, the first full year after its acquisition. Last year, Jazz posted Xyrem revenue of $778.6 million.
While the company said it’s expanded the number of patients the drug treats, the cost also increased an average of 29 percent a year from 2011 to 2015, according to data distributed this week by Evercore ISI analyst Mark Schoenebaum.
H.P. Acthar Gel was initially approved in 1952, the year before Turing’s Daraprim, the subject of this week’s controversy. It treats infantile spasms and exacerbations of multiple sclerosis in adults, among other indications, and its price, as The New York Times reported in 2012, hopped from $1,650 to $23,000 a vial on a single day in 2007.
EpiPen, used in emergency treatment for life-threatening allergic reactions, is sold by Netherlands-based drugmaker Mylan. The price, according to data from Evercore ISI, increased 27 percent a year, on average, from 2011 to 2015, to more than $300 each dose.
Medicynical Note: The only coherent explanation of what’s happening is that these robber barons have cornered the market and are gouging for all they are worth…oh I mean all WE are worth. Our health care non-system is uninterested in cost containment or for that matter delivering value because as the costs go up everyone’s share of the pie increases.
Except maybe for the doctors who are, ironically, the low men on the totem pole of the health care hierarchy. It’s terrifying that the high men are hedge funders with only one interest, and it ain’t health care.