AOC laying down some fire on an issue that Trump and a lot of Republican agree with the total out of control of drugs in America.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) confronted a CEO Thursday for pricing a drug designed to reduce the risk of HIV transmission at $8 in Australia but over $1,500 in the U.S.
“You’re the CEO of Gilead. Is it true that Gilead made $3 billion in profits from Truvada in 2018?” Ocasio-Cortez asked Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day.
“$3 billion in revenue,” he clarified.
“The current list price is $2,000 a month in the United States, correct?” she asked, referring to Truvada.
“It’s $1,780 in the United States,” O’Day responded.
“Why is it $8 in Australia?” Ocasio-Cortez countered.
“Truvada still has patent protection in the United States and in the rest of the world it is generic,” O’Day explained, adding, “It will be generically available in the United States as of September 2020.”
It can cost billions just to bring one viable drug to market.
As a side note, I used to be in pharmaceutical sales. We were to launch a super potent antibiotic. Mostly a Hail Mary type antibiotic. If you were on death’s door this would possibly do the trick. It went through all of the approvals. Big meetings to launch. It got pulled at the last minute.
If you want R&D, you can’t do it on $8.00 per Rx with the limited time on patents.
There is only a short time span for the manufacturer of that drug to recoup costs and fund the next drug in line before it goes generic.
If the government were to provide some method where marketing costs could be reduced, would that help? Anything the drug companies worked to do this themselves would probably get them in trouble over anti trust laws.
R & D. Testing. Trials. FDA approvals. That is billions.
Now, after approval, you can add marketing costs. I remember when there were no ads on television for pharmaceuticals. It was up to us, the reps, to study everything down to a cellular level, interactions, etc. and go in and actually educate the doctors on it. You can call that marketing if you wish, but we were the front line.
IF you were ethical, you used gold standard studies, such as the New England Journal of Medicine. You knew the studies inside and out and presented them with the pro’s and con’s. Facts mattered.
But, hey. That was 20 years ago for me. Times have changed.
Pharma reps still educate the Drs on medication and use of medication. They don’t read studies, they rely on Pharma companies to provide that information as well as any off label usage a drug may have.
I believe the fast track approval process has changed in the lasts 20 years. The pharma company takes over more responsibility for the testing and reporting of the results in their fast track programs. This has lead to some companies under reporting side effects and interpreting data to their advantage.
With the cost of R&D and the possibility to make or lose billions of $ by being first to market, it has become too enticing to just flat out lie about the results these days.