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WASHINGTON — There were no Martin Shkreli moments.

Instead, Tuesday’s congressional hearing on high drug prices served mostly as a retreading of arguments that lawmakers and the drug industry have spent years fine-tuning.

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  • It’s not the FDA that stops patients from purchasing direct as you call it. States require medications to be dispensed by prescription from a licensed pharmacy. Pharmaceutical companies have and do own pharmacies (mail order or specialty). However, the payers/PBMs refuse to put the pharmacy in their network so patients with insurance coverage can’t access.

  • I watched what could be called a “Dog and Pony” Show. The most important set of culprits were not there. PBMs and Insurance companies who create the formularies. One has to pay to be on the formulary. Higher price ($100.00 per pill) from company “A” @ 20% rebate pays higher absolute dollar $20.00 rebate to PBM1 vs. lower price from company B ($80.00 per pill) @ 20% rebate pays $16.00. PBM will include company A on the formulary. Middleman wins and patient who cares in a mutually subsidized system.

    If patient can buy directly from the pharma companies and no middleman, we will or should see prices drop. However, Ms/r. FDA would prevent this to happen.

    If anything meaningful happens in the next 600 DAYS it would be a MIRACLE.

    Life will go on.

    • It’s not the FDA that stops patients from purchasing direct as you call it. States require medications to be dispensed by prescription from a licensed pharmacy. Pharmaceutical companies have and do own pharmacies (mail order or specialty). However, the payers/PBMs refuse to put the pharmacy in their network so patients with insurance coverage can’t access.

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