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Top of the morning to you, and a fine one it is. Crystal clear blue skies and cool breezes are wafting about the Pharmalot campus, where the short person will soon rise for gainful summer employment and the official mascot is bounding about the grounds with a favorite playmate. As for us, we are firing up the coffee kettle to brew still another cup of stimulation. As always, you are invited to join us. Our choice today is pumpkin spice — a tasty head start on autumn, yes? Meanwhile, here is the latest laundry list of interesting items. We hope all goes well and the day is meaningful and productive. And do keep in touch. …

Drugmakers are launching new medicines at record-high prices this year, highlighting their pricing power even as Congress moves to cut the $500 billion-plus annual bill for prescription drugs in the U.S., Reuters reports. At the same time, some pharmaceutical manufacturers are disclosing less information about the pricing of those treatments, which have come under greater scrutiny in recent years. The median annual price of 13 novel drugs approved for chronic conditions by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration so far this year is $257,000. Last year, the median annual price rose to $180,000 for the 30 drugs first marketed through mid-July 2021, according to a study in JAMA.


Prescription medicines purchased in the U.S. under a controversial government discount program amounted to $44 billion in 2021, a nearly 16% increase from the previous year, STAT reports. Some $38 billion in medicines were purchased under the 340B program in 2020. The data mark a steady rise in sales under the 340B Drug Discount Program, which requires drugmakers to offer discounts that are typically estimated to be 25% to 50% — but could be higher — on all outpatient drugs to hospitals and clinics that primarily serve lower-income patients. There are roughly 12,400 entities participating in the program, a number that has grown substantially.

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