After three widely used rheumatoid medicines began facing new competition a decade ago, annual treatment costs for the older drugs rose faster than if the rival medications had not been launched, according to a new analysis, which suggested “opportunism” by manufacturers caused patients and taxpayers to shoulder higher expenses.

Here’s the background: Prior to 2009, just three so-called TNF inhibitors —Remicade, Humira, and Enbrel — were used to treat various inflammatory maladies, but the competitive landscape began changing that year when two more medicines were launched — Simponi and Cimzia. By 2013, an intravenous version of Simponi also became available.

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  • Ah, yes, and industry will complain, as the researchers observe, that these results / trends are “only theoretical.” Why? “Hernandez noted they were unable to explore the impact of rebates because they lacked the confidential data.”
    If Big (or mid-sized) Pharma wants to challenge such studies, then supply ‘the real data.’ Oh dear, just call me Pollyanna instead of ‘Observer079.”

    • This is a poorly laid trap: you better give me what I want or I’ll sacrifice empirical standards to make unsubstantiated conclusions against you. That’s not how good research works.

  • The government continues to stand in the way of free market principles from working. As the main payer (Medicare) producing negligible differences for their patients with price increases, it creates waves through the other payers and taxpayers. As people forget, the government only takes money from people and companies, it doesn’t generate it’s own revenue.

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