$30,000 for One Shot of Ethanol

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Hundreds of pharmaceuticals in use today entered the market prior to 1938, before the Food and Drug Administration implemented safety reviews. 

The 2006 Unapproved Drug Initiative requires manufacturers to pull these drugs and prove to the FDA that they are safe. Typically, fewer manufacturers remain in the market after the FDA intervenes, which allows price manipulation.

It sounds like a good idea but, remember, no good deed goes unpunished.

Four widely used drugs funneled through the Unapproved Drug Initiative will increase spending by more than $20.25 billion over a five-year span as manufacturers hiked prices between 525% to 1,644%, a new Vizient analysisfound. Vizient identified another 19 unapproved drugs that could increase costs by $8.75 billion.

Not a bad markup, eh? Here is my favorite:

Belcher Pharmaceuticals is charging $1,000 per milliliter, which equates to $30,000 for one shot of ethanol, since it received an orphan drug designation through the UDI, granting Belcher’s drug exclusivity through 2025, she said. Belcher won the orphan drug classification, a status for drugs that treat rare diseases, for its treatment of hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy.

Yes, you read that right. Ethanol!

BTW, I love the name Belcher for this company.

These types of laws are bankrupting the hospitals and the system.

And the FDA works its magic again.

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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] 

  4 comments for “$30,000 for One Shot of Ethanol

  1. March 7, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    Since ethanol drip is the accepted treatment for methanol poisoning, a physician could use ethanol drip “off schedule” to treat hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy. Then the hospital can charge $200 per hour for the drip!

    Reminds me of the physician who “patented” instructions for taking pills by mouth.

  2. Russ Kamer
    February 29, 2020 at 8:54 am

    This is what happened to colchicine. The generic was pulled from the market after a drug company proved it was effective. D’uh. It went from pennies a pill to dollars a pill and even after the the patent expired, it still is dollars a pill.
    Simple fix for price gouging. Don’t let drug companies charge more in USA than in rest of world. We subsidize cheap meds elsewhere.

  3. R Stuart
    February 27, 2020 at 12:12 pm

    Easy solution: pay physicians less.

    • Martha Oreilly
      February 27, 2020 at 1:45 pm

      I hope this is sarcasm

Comments are closed.