This weekly column offers opinions on the latest pharmaceutical industry news.
With a theatrical flair, Martin Shkreli, the poster boy for sky-high drug prices, once again captured the public imagination as he appeared last week before a congressional committee. The former hedge fund manager smirked his way through the hearing, where he asserted his Fifth Amendment right not to answer questions. And he later tweeted that the committee members were “imbeciles.”
Of course, executives at other drug makers — big and small — don’t behave this way. And that is something that the rest of the industry is struggling to emphasize. At a recent health care conference, Merck chief executive Ken Frazier appeared onstage shortly after Shkreli and insisted that “he is not us.” The pharmaceutical industry, Frazier explained, invests in research, develops innovative medicines, and seeks to find cures. Shkreli, he insisted, is an aberration who exists to exploit pricing in order to make a quick buck.
But while Shkreli and the rest of the pharmaceutical industry are, indeed, a study in contrasts, the differences may be lost on the American public.
I’ve had HEP C for 36years and I am on social security disability. With Medicaid insurance.I have been DENIED the CURE for hep c treatment twice because I don’t quite meet the criteria to be eligible for HARVONI because I am on Medicaid
What can I do to get approved for the medication I so desperately need and deserve but can’t get because of the price. Too many people are dying from the DISEASE I’ve been living with for 36years.I have all the debilitating symptoms but because my test numbers don’t add up to their CRITERIA I suffer every day with a CURABLE DISEASE. THERE ARE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE LIKE ME
HOW CAN WE FIGHT THESE DRUG COMPANIES FOR OUR OWN LIVES?
There must be a way to obtain the CURE before we die waiting to be approved. What can a normal person in society do.
They are making us feel like we’re a lower species because we have state Medicaid insurance. I live in Washington state and I NEED THE HEP C TREATMENT DESPERATELY BUT IT IS OUT OF MY REACH BECAUSE I AM NOT RICH
WILL SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME AND PEOPLE LIKE ME? WE DESERVE TO LIVE AS MUCH AS PEOPLE WITH MONEY TO PAY FOR THE MEDICATION. PLEASE HELP
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