As healthcare providers across the U.S. desperately attempt to treat a rapidly growing number of patients with the coronavirus, a pharmaceutical company with ties to the Trump administration has been granted exclusive status for a drug it is developing to treat the illness—a potential windfall for the company that could put the medication out of reach for many Americans. As The Intercept reported Monday, the Food and Drug Administration granted Gilead Sciences "orphan" drug status for remdesivir, one of several drugs being tested as potential treatments for the coronavirus
Corporations' quest for profits is what "is driving up drug prices and nothing more." That's according to Dennis Bourdette, M.D., chair of neurology in the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) School of Medicine, who co-authored a study published Monday that sought to find out companies' rationale for the escalating prices on medications for patients with multiple sclerosis. Prices for those drugs, an accompanying press release notes, have jumped up by 10% to 15% every year for the past decade.
American health care is being crushed under the iron heel of a cabal of ruthless and merciless robber barons. Indeed, this primitive and backward system continues to be a source of horrendous suffering, as the health insurance companies, hospital executives, and pharmaceutical companies repeatedly place their insatiable lust for profit over the lives of their fellow Americans. And the health care oligarchs should be proud of what they have achieved: For they have created a health care system that is unrivaled in the industrialized world for its degradation and barbarity. As economic inequality grows in America, so too does inequality of health care. Writing for The Harvard Gazette, David Cecere points out that tens of thousands of Americans die each year due to a lack of health insurance.
Ninety-one people a day die from opioids and 1,000 visit ERs in the US, according to the CDC. How did opioid makers get such a deathly grip on the US population? Recently, the New York Times reported that the global consulting firm McKinsey & Company had a big hand in these morbid figures. McKinsey advised Purdue Pharma to “turbocharge” OxyContin sales and use mail orders to bypass pharmacy scrutiny claims a Massachusetts lawsuit against the drug maker. Another state lawsuit accuses McKinsey of advising an opioid maker to “get more patients on higher doses of opioids” and study techniques “for keeping patients on opioids longer.” We all know what happened. Purdue Pharma also deliberately marketed OxyContin as a 12-hour med—providing pain relief for 12 hours, and only requiring a twice-a-day dose—though documents show that Purdue and its sales reps knew that was a lie, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Merida – The US government is withholding US $5 billion which was meant for the purchase of medicines and raw materials used in medical production, President Nicolas Maduro claimed Wednesday. Speaking from Miranda State, Maduro denounced that US authorities “have ‘kidnapped’ US $5 billion [in] one of the most criminal, brutal, fascist economic measures which has been seen in the economic history of the world.” “Trump is the person responsible,” he added. US and European governments have been working on freezing Venezuelan assets in recent months...
On the campaign trail, Donald Trump set himself apart from fellow Republicans and even Hillary Clinton by advancing a protectionist trade agenda and promising to renegotiate or scrap the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico. So, the president celebrated on Monday after last-minute negotiations with Canada advanced a new version of NAFTA. “It’s an amazing deal for a lot of people,” Trump said during an address at the White House. However, critics say the current draft of the $1.2 trillion deal would not completely halt the outsourcing of US jobs to Mexico, and it imperils one of Trump’s other campaign promises: reducing the price of prescription drugs for US consumers.
According to a new study by a small, partly industry-funded think tank called the Center for Integration of Science and Industry (CISI), it is existentially important. No NIH funds, no new drugs, no patents, no profits, no industry. The CISI study, underwritten by the National Biomedical Research Foundation, mapped the relationship between NIH-funded research and every new drug approved by the FDA between 2010 and 2016. The authors found that each of the 210 medicines approved for market came out of research supported by the NIH. Of the $100 billion it spent nationally during this period, more than half of it—$64 billion—ended up helping the development of 84 first-in-class drugs.