OHIO OFFICIALS URGED TO JOIN CAMPAIGN TO HOLD MYLAN RESPONSIBLE

June 19, 2017

“Mylan needs to be punished for business practices that have ripped off Ohio consumers and taxpayers,” added Ohio Taxpayers spokesman Dennis Willard . “The question now is whether the trustees of $90 billion of Ohio pension money are ready to stand up to drug companies like Mylan and stop their reckless greed.” Read more…

SEN. BROWN VOWS TO GO AFTER DRUG COMPANY ‘’PRICE GOUGING”

June 14, 2017

Sen. Sherrod Brown is introducing legislation (The Stop Price Gouging Act) to penalize drug companies for price increases that double or triple the price of their drugs for no good reason. Brown earlier this year also reintroduced a bill to empower federal officials to negotiate the prices Medicare pays for drugs just like the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs negotiates to get the best price for drugs for vets. The Ohio Drug Price Relief Act on the November ballot would require Ohio state agencies to also follow the VA model when they buy drugs for 3.7 million Ohioans. Read more

DRUG COMPANY’S MARKETING CAMPAIGN CALLED UNFAIR, MISLEADING – WE’RE SHOCKED!!!

June 11, 2017

An aggressive marketing campaign by Alkermes to promote its anti-addiction medication Vivitrol as a “miracle drug” seriously misinforms consumers about the drug’s therapeutic value and unfairly trashes its competitors’ products, according to the New York Times. Quoting critics, the Times found that FDA approval of Vivitrol as an anti-opioid addiction medicine was based on the questionable results of a Russian study of 250 patients and that Alkermes has used its lobbying muscle to make Vivitrol the go-to drug of government-funded programs. Read more

OHIO TAXPAYERS ARE BIG VICTIMS OF STATE’S DRUG CRISIS

June 10, 2017

The cost of fighting Ohio’s opioid epidemic is getting out of hand. Three years ago, Ohio Medicaid paid $59.3 million for drugs to treat opioid addiction but by 2016 the tab hit $126.6 million, a 113.5 percent increase. Meanwhile, over the same period Medicaid’s cost for drug counseling, outpatient programs and detoxification soared from $100.3 million to $216.5 million, a 116 percent increase.  From 2014 to 2016, state spending on the anti-addiction drug Suboxone doubled from $31.2 million to $60.4 million, on Vivitrol from $2.2 million to $30.4 million – a 15-fold increase. Read more here and here.

Governor Vetoes Bill To Disclose Insulin Drug Company Profits

June 3, 2017

Nevada Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval has just vetoed a bill to require insulin makers like Sanofi, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly to disclose their profits. The cost of insulin has risen nearly 300 percent in recent years. For a brief moment, it looked like Nevada politicians were going to stand up to drug company price gouging. But in the end what happened was further proof of the stranglehold the drug companies have on elected officials. If the politicians can’t fix this problem, the voters need to do it. That’s what the Ohio Drug Price Relief Act is all about. Read more here and here.

Overdose deaths continue to soar in Ohio

May 28, 2017

The Columbus Dispatch reports that more than 4,100 Ohioans died from unintentional drug overdoses in 2016, making Ohio once again the nation’s deadliest state for drug users. A week earlier, Atty. Gen. Mike DeWine sued five pharmaceutical companies, laying much of the blame for the state’s drug deaths on an aggressive marketing campaign by the five that misled Ohio consumers and patients about the real addiction dangers of prescription drugs. Read More >

Drug Deaths in America Are Rising Faster Than Ever

June 5, 2017

The New York Times reports that drug overdose deaths nationwide in 2016 reached 59,000, up 19 percent over the previous year. Now overdoses are the leading cause of death for persons under 50, the newspaper reported. Read More >

Mylan may have overcharged U.S. for EpiPen by $1.27 billion: HHS

May 31, 2017

Mylan Inc., the maker of the EpiPen, is back in the news. A new study claims Mylan over-charged U.S. taxpayers $1.27 billion for its anti-allergy emergency treatment EpiPen devices. Last year, Mylan agreed to pay the U.S. government $465 million to settle this same billing dispute. Now U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley says he wants to make sure taxpayers aren’t ripped off again by Mylan – which made headlines last year for raising the price of its EpiPens by 500 percent. Read More >

It’s time for Big Pharma to get their priorities straight: American’s deserve open and honest prescription drug pricing

June 8, 2017

A YouTube video says 9 out of the 10 biggest pharmaceutical companies spend 50 percent more on advertising their drugs than they do on developing new drugs. The 1-minute video – produced by the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing – notes that the drug companies often blame the high cost of their products on their R&D costs. The CSRxP video blows up that myth. See the video here >

Ohio Sues Five Drug Firms, Saying They Fueled Opioid Crisis

May 31, 2017

Attorney general of state hard-hit by addiction says companies misrepresented risks Read More >

November ballot issue leaves lower drug prices up to Ohioans

May 22, 2017

“This is good for every Ohioan,” he says. “Even if you don’t take medications, this is good for your state. This is going to save money — money that can come back to local communities and can be used on things that will benefit everyone’s everyday life.” Read More >

Ohio drug price ballot issue likely to be costly, contentious

May 22, 2017

““Ohio taxpayers right now are paying too much for drugs. … This will lower those drug prices by taking them to the same prices the Veterans Administration pays for these drugs, saving $400 million,” Willard said. “We’re seeing people die every day. This will give Ohioans a chance to say, ‘Enough is enough.’” Read More >

Ohio Senior Says High Drug Prices May Shorten His Life

May 3, 2017

“Without lower prices, I can’t get the drugs I need,” Tom Pattison of Willoughby Hills recently told News 5 Cleveland (WEWS-TV). “It could shorten my life. Do I know how much time I got left? No. And, if I had to guess, not long.” Pattison’s drugs are now costing him $1,800 a month. At those prices Pattison, a retiree, said he didn’t know how long he could afford to buy his medicine. The TV news story also quoted Baldwin Wallace College professor who says it’s unfair that the same drugs that are over-priced in the U.S. sell at a steep discount overseas. See the video….

Gov. Christie Says Opioid Medicine Is Gateway To Heroin

April 28, 2017

“We know four out of five heroin addicts got started on prescription drugs,” Gov. Chris Christie recently said in a speech. He ought to know. Christie is chairman of a panel advising Pres. Trump on the opioid crisis. Since 2000, more than a half million Americans have died of opioid-related abuse. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, one-half of young people who inject heroin (it can also be snorted and smoked) reported that they had previously abused prescription drugs and later found heroin to be cheaper and easier to obtain. See the video…

Widespread Drug Industry Hype Gives False Hope to Many Cancer Patients

April 27, 2017

The drug industry spends hundreds of millions of dollars advertising that its cancer-fighting drugs will make patients better off. But according to some health professionals, the industry often is selling more hype than real cures. “I’m starting to hear more and more that we are better than I think we really are,” the chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society told Kaiser Health News (KHN). “We’re starting to believe our own bullshit.” The result is that patients and their families too often buy into treatments that don’t work, cost a fortune or cause life-threatening side effects, KHN reports.

Drug Company Sticks It to the Parents of Sick Kids

April 24, 2017

Silvergate Pharmaceuticals, a small Colorado-based company, has taken two generic drugs designed for adults, made them kid-friendly and now sells this medicine – in liquid form – for 775 times and 21 times what the generic versions for adults cost, according to a Kaiser Health News (KHN) article. The two drugs – which Silvergate now has the exclusive patent to market until 2030 – are Qbrelis and Epaned. A Harvard Medical School professor told KHN that Silvergate is “gaming the rules” and that its patented medicines are not the product of “real pharmaceutical research.”

Opioid Drug Lobbyists Try to Flim-Flam Ohio Lawmakers

April 15, 2017

Drug industry lobbyists persuaded Ohio state officials that if they purchased a new generation of so-called addiction-resistant opioids for the state’s Medicaid patients in need of painkillers it would only cost Ohio taxpayers an extra $400,000 per year. Fortunately, this sleazy effort failed amid warnings that 1) the new generation of drugs were just as likely to be abused by addicts as the old generation and 2) that the real cost of such a switch could run as high as $501 million per year!   

Drugmakers Help Turn Patients Into D.C. Lobbyists

April 10, 2017

The drug industry actively recruits, trains and pays patients suffering from rare illnesses to lobby lawmakers in Washington, D.C. Critics of this practice warn that unwitting patients can find themselves being used to promote legislation that is more about enhancing industry profits than advancing good healthcare policies. Some who’ve seen it first-hand call this practice “a little stinky.”

The Story That Pharma Ads Should Be Telling You

February 6, 2017

Ohioans are being bombarded with the drug industry’s Go Boldly TV ad campaign. If you believe it, this saintly industry is always hard at work, inventing new cures. The campaign does not mention polio vaccine inventor Jonas Salk. Maybe that’s because Salk, who saved millions from a crippling disease, did not patent his vaccine. He gave it away. Never made a dime off it. Maybe the drug industry could take a cue from Salk. Click here to read one critic’s view of the industry’s TV ad effort.

Facing Criticism, Drug Makers Keep Lid On Price Increases

February 26, 2017

The drug industry this year increased its prices to Ohio consumers and taxpayers 8.9 percent, four times greater than the U.S. inflation rate. Oh yeah, the industry did keep the lid on the biggest price hikes (those of 10 percent or more) that most outraged folks in the past. Some analysts say the slow-down in big, eye-catching increases was a PR move deliberately meant to cool down consumer anger and talk of legislative retaliation. Click here to read more.

More Than 80 Percent of Patient Groups Accept Drug Industry Funds, Study Shows

MARCH 1, 2017

Ever wonder why many patient advocacy groups have remained silent or have defended the drug industry even as tens of thousands of Ohio’s taxpayers and its sick and vulnerable residents have been hurt and outraged by drug company price-gouging? The answer might be found in a new study that shows 80 percent of patient advocacy groups are funded by the drug industry. Wow! Click here to read more.

Brown Reintroduces Legislation to Lower Prescription Drug Prices for Seniors

January 9, 2017

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown has reintroduced legislation to lift a ban that prevents the federal government from getting the best price for the drugs it buys for several million elderly Ohioans enrolled in the Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug) program. But Brown’s bill, giving the feds the power to negotiate Medicare drug prices, faces an uphill battle against powerful drug companies who have successfully blocked many attempts to control their greed. Click here to read more.