H

e has a private jet, a pedigree of winning billion-dollar settlements, and the (sometimes grudging) respect of his adversaries. Now, he wants to become pharma’s latest headache.

Class-action attorney Steve Berman is coming after a drug industry he says is “gouging” the American consumer. And his suits have the potential to crack the lid on the black box of drug pricing, shedding light on a secretive process that has sparked an escalating blame game between drug makers and the many middlemen in the US health care system.

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  • Not a darn thing can be done as long as our legislators are in the pharmaceutical back pockets. Dream on.

  • thanks for the social awareness. even here in our country, the same squid tactic is being employed by the big pharma companies. they conspired to manipulate and control the drug prices in the market place. we still need more laws and honest to goodness advocate to relentlessly pursue to bring down the cost of medicines for everyone.

  • I have RA and am required to take an expensive drug called Enbrel. A few years later I transferred to a new pharmacy. Old pharmacy:$1800 for 4 weeks new pharmacy: $1500.

    • The ‘brand’ that makes my medicine, for 30 days supply (90 20mg tablets) charges $670.00. The generic, which is much less effective, is $48.00. Some ingredients are different, and, I believe generic drug manufacturers are allowed A MARGIN OF ERROR as much as 20% LESS MEDICATION IS LEGALLY ALLOWED BY LAW OF THEIR PRODUCT THAN THE ORIGINAL FORMULA.
      I hope to support anyone who goes after these greedy bastards. It is good to know you have big pharma in your our sights.
      THS SHOULD BE ILLEGAL!
      Maryann
      Austin Texas retiree

    • Fifteen hundred dollars for fifteen dollars worth of medicine is obscene. Keep speaking up. It’s illegal, price grudging.

      I bet a lawsuit could be brought.

      It’s unethical to profit from the illnesses of the little guy.

  • Great work–thank you! Let’s not forget that the U.S. is one of two countries in the world that allow drug companies to advertise. The last data I checked said that 40% of the cost of a drug is marketing. That’s unacceptable! However, I think it’s highly unlikely that this will change–Pharma has too many members of Congress in their back pocket.

    • How do you conclude that? I would expect everyone in the chain to have reasonable profits. Thay is capitalistic system. Cheers

  • There are ways to reverse calculate drugs costs and the simplest way is to start from API manufacture to formulation cost. Chemical engineering curriculum teaches of how to. Using this method, one can see who is making what kind of money. Linked article is reviews an example and might be of interest.

    Pharmaceutical Costs, Technology Innovation, Opportunities & Reality
    http://www.pharmpro.com/article/2010/03/pharmaceutical-costs-technology-innovation-opportunities-reality

    The suggested methodology is used by many to negotiate raw material purchase prices. It works and is cringed by sellers. I am sure pharma and PBM’s would not like anyone to use it as one gets to know the kitty gritty of pricing.

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