Tag Archives: Pharmaceutical industry

Infamous pharma company declares bankruptcy after 3,900% price hike

Man wipes really expensive cream from his face.

Enlarge / Man wipes really expensive cream from his face. (credit: Getty | Boston Globe)

The Chicago-based pharmaceutical company that made headlines in 2016 for dramatically raising the prices of cheap skin creams has now filed for bankruptcy. The filing cites, in part, profit-scorching backlash from the price increases, the Chicago Tribune reports.

In September of 2016, Ars reported that the company, Novum Pharma, had repeatedly raised the price of an old, cheap skin cream, bringing its list price from $241.50 to $9,561 a tube—a 3,900 percent increase total. The cream, called Aloquin, is “possibly effective” for treating eczema and acne, according to the Food and Drug Administration. It’s composed of a generic antibiotic and extracts from the aloe vera plant.

Novum raised

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Policing Big Pharma’s Influence Over Doctors’ Treatment Guidelines

It’s no secret that pharmaceutical companies pay doctors to hype their products to others. But even when physicians work to shun such payments, they may unwittingly be influenced simply by following clinical practice guidelines written by colleagues with financial conflicts of interest. … Read the rest

Doctors tried to lower $148K cancer drug cost; makers triple price of pill

(credit: Wellness GM)

A drug that treats a variety of white blood cell cancers typically costs about $148,000 a year, and doctors can customize and quickly adjust doses by adjusting how many small-dose pills of it patients should take each day—generally up to four pills. At least, that was the case until now.

Last year, doctors presented results from a small pilot trial hinting that smaller doses could work just as well as the larger dose—dropping patients down from three pills a day to just one. Taking just one pill a day could dramatically reduce costs to around $50,000 a year. And it could lessen unpleasant side-effects, such as diarrhea, muscle and bone pain, and tiredness. But just as doctors were gearing up for more

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Drug maker hikes price of 2-in-1 painkiller >2,000%—$36 drugs now $3,000

Enlarge (credit: Getty | Mario Tama)

Irish drug company Horizon Pharma has hiked the price of a two-in-one painkiller by more than 2,000 percent in the past five years, according to a report in Financial Times

A 60-pill bottle of the drug combo, Vimovo, cost $138 in 2013 when AstraZeneca sold it to Horizon. The bottle now costs $2,979 after Horizon raised the price on 11 occasions.

Vimovo is a combination of the common painkiller naproxen and esomeprazole. Naproxen is the active ingredient in Bayer’s over-the-counter painkiller Aleve. A side effect of naproxen is gastrointestinal issues, including stomach pain and heartburns. As such, Vimovo combines it with esomeprazole, a proton-pump inhibitor that treats heartburn. Esomeprazole is sold over the counter by AstraZeneca as Nexium.

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If a Pharmaceutical Company Publishes a Magazine, Is it Journalism?

This may be the first time a biotech company has launched a media venture. And while LeapsMag is still small, it raises some big questions. What happens, after all, when a pharmaceutical company starts a magazine? And is editorial independence even possible when a multinational company is paying the tab?… Read the rest

To keep EpiPen sales up, Mylan threatened states, sued making bogus claims

Enlarge (credit: Getty | Alex Wong)

Note: EpiPens are sold in the UK by Meda Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Mylan in 2016. They can be acquired for just £45 a piece online in the UK. But the US and UK healthcare markets are quite different beasts…

Pharmaceutical company Mylan sued West Virginia in 2015 to keep its EpiPens on the state’s “preferred drug list,” which, if successful, would mean that the state’s Medicaid programs would have to automatically pay for the pricey epinephrine auto-injectors.

The bold and unusual move by Mylan—which ultimately failed—is yet another example of the aggressive marketing and legal tactics the company used to boost profits from EpiPens, which halt life-threatening allergic reactions. Since Mylan acquired rights to EpiPen in 2007,

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FDA lashes out at Mylan for dismal quality control at HIV drug facility

Enlarge (credit: Getty | Bloomberg)

Mylan—the pharmaceutical company infamous for raising the price of EpiPens—is in hot water with the Food and Drug Administration. This time, the dust-up is related to the quality control practices at one of the company’s drug facilities making antiretroviral therapies (ARVs) used to treat HIV, Reuters reports.

In a letter to Mylan, the FDA outlined several violations at the facility, based in Maharashtra, India, and warned Mylan to shape up. Specifically, the FDA said that investigators found that facility employees inexplicably invalidated quality control data that showed that drug batches didn’t meet standards. The agency also claimed that employees didn’t bother trying to investigate those failures or prevent them from reoccurring.

“Your quality system does not adequately ensure

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“Startlingly effective” TV ads for testosterone helped lead to over-prescription

Enlarge (credit: Getty | Marc Bruxelle)

With little evidence of health benefits, television advertisements for testosterone were very successful at persuading men to seek treatments for a questionable disorder, a new study in JAMA suggests. The potent commercials may have been a significant driver in the boom in testosterone use, which launched sales ten-fold in the US between 2000 and 2011.

The study, led by researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, examined insurance claims of around 17.2 million American men in 75 television markets between 2009 to 2013. During that time, more than a million of the men got their testosterone levels tested and more than 283,000 started treatment.

Looking at advertising patterns, the researchers calculated that a single ad aired

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