Big Pharma Getting Scared for Halloween

It’s going to be a tough Halloween for the drug companies. HHS Secretary Alex Azar and this administration wants them to post their list prices in consumer ads.  Will it help? Not sure. It will expose the scam of back room deals that go on in this industry, however.  The only one who pays full price is the cash paying customer.  The drug companies are panicking and are worrying that the high list price would scare patients away.  Agreed.  Then why list them so high in the first place?  Listen to these idiots try to fight their case:

  • “Such a requirement would not benefit patients, could have the unintended and harmful consequence of deterring patients from seeking care and would raise legal concerns,” the industry’s major trade group PhRMA warned HHS this summer.
  • Policy experts also are skeptical that the proposal will do much to rein in high prices, since drugmakers’ list prices are mostly used as a starting point for negotiations with other health care payers and few patients are asked to pay them. They also have cautioned that it could affect public health by discouraging the use of some medicines.
  • “The price of a drug has absolutely no relation to the cost for a consumer,” said Dale Cooke, a consultant who specializes in drug advertisements and has been a vocal critic of the government’s plan. He also cautioned that an ad containing a high list price could scare away patients who will assume they can’t afford the cost of the drug, even if their health insurance would pick up most of the cost. “That would potentially be tragic,” Cooke said.

These excuses are just laughable.  Maybe, just maybe, a price tag for a medication shouldn’t be a “trick or treat”?  Maybe they shouldn’t treat medication prices like automobile prices?  Getting a medication shouldn’t be like going to a  car dealership.

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Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  1 comment for “Big Pharma Getting Scared for Halloween

  1. hawgguy
    October 24, 2018 at 11:06 am

    This is wonderful news – and a good start. Transparency and sunshine are good disinfectants. The same approach with hospital procedures, diagnostic testing and office visits would be welcome. Dare I say this might foster competition and innovation. How can this be bad for patients?

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