Canada sees 2,000% price hike for infant seizure drug


tay
#1
The drug prescribed to infants in Canada with a rare and potentially dangerous form of epilepsy has jumped by 2,000 per cent practically overnight, upsetting specialists and parents.

Infantile spasms, also called West syndrome, is a catastrophic and rare form of epilepsy. It's diagnosed in babies with seizures that show abnormal bursts in the brain's electrical activity on an electroencephalogram or EEG.

At Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, infantile spasm is treated as an emergency, said neurologist Dr. Carter Snead. Rapid treatment is critical. He's angry about the price increase.

"This was just dropped like a bombshell," Snead said about the way the price increase was communicated to provinces and hospitals.

"The price of Synacthen Depot increased by more than 2,000 per cent from $33.05 per vial to $680 per vial," said Carolyn Ziegler, a spokeswoman for Alberta Health.

The price was so high that Alberta delisted it in July, Ziegler said, meaning it's no longer automatically paid for by the province. The drug may still be provided on a case-by-case basis

Health officials in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Ontario reported similar increases.

"They just bought it and jacked up the price," Snead said.

Mia Brooks calls the price increase "absurd." She's worried that she will eventually be asked to pay for some of that increase.

"There's no way we can access that amount of money," she said.

The global pharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt owns the rights to Synacthen Depot in Canada. Mallinckrodt says it increased the price because of a change of manufacturing. The company did not respond to requests for details about where it manufacturers the drug and why the change in manufacturing justifies the price increase.

"When Mallinckrodt acquired Questcor in 2014, Synacthen Depot was one of the products in the portfolio. It was losing money then and still is. Moreover, in the spring of 2014, Mallinckrodt was told by the existing supplier of the product that they would cease production in early 2016," a Mallinckrodt spokesman said in an email to CBC News.

Health Canada said it knows where the drug is made but says it considers the information proprietary.

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2,000% price hike for infant seizure drug called 'absurd' - Health - CBC News
 
Walter
#2
Supply and demand in action
 
lone wolf
+1
#3  Top Rated Post
Investors are such great things....
 
Walter
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolfView Post

Investors are such great things....

Wouldn't have much without them.
 
lone wolf
#5
Would you die for them?
 
Walter
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolfView Post

Would you die for them?

I'd probably be dead and many millions more would be dead if it wasn't for the investors.
 
lone wolf
+1 / -1
#7
The patient ones, yes. The greedy pricks should taste death on their own
 
Twila
#8
Its' a strange price increase. I'm surprised that such essential medications are not subsidized in the manufacturing stage with the excess profits from other medications.

Our gov't subsidizes all kinds of things based on the long term goals in other situations. You'd think that something could be worked out between the investors, the company and various gov'ts.
 
Vbeacher
#9
So here's what the government needs to do. It needs to set up or buy a generic pharmaceutical company and start making these drugs, along with a number of others, and sell it to itself. It should save us a fortune. This drug has been around, apparently, sine 1969 so its off patent. Create a generic version of this and other drugs and sell them for peanuts to the provincial health authorities.
 
JLM
+1
#10
It's a f**king rip off is what it is. Somebody is living high on the hog at the expense of sick people.
 
VanIsle
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by JLMView Post

It's a f**king rip off is what it is. Somebody is living high on the hog at the expense of sick people.

ya think? Just ask a cancer patient!
 
damngrumpy
#12
This is not supply and demand some folks are buying the rights to drugs nearing
or after the patent dates and this should be made illegal. We need prescriptions
heavily regulated so as to make them part of medicare and cheaper for governments
to buy on mass. No problem with new drugs being more because costs do play a
serious role in research, but this is out of line and speculation under these circumstances
should be outlawed.
 
JLM
#13
If this crap is going to persist, someone is going to get assassinated................just before or after some kid dies!
 
Twila
+1
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by JLMView Post

It's a f**king rip off is what it is. Somebody is living high on the hog at the expense of sick people.

That's business. If you require investors (and this company does), you'll need to at some point promise a return on that investment.

in·vest
inˈvest/Submit
verb
1.
expend money with the expectation of achieving a profit or material result by putting it into financial schemes, shares, or property, or by using it to develop a commercial venture.
"getting workers to invest in private pension funds"
synonyms: put money into, provide capital for, fund, back, finance, subsidize, bankroll, underwrite; More
 
JLM
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by TwilaView Post

That's business. If you require investors (and this company does), you'll need to at some point promise a return on that investment.

in·vest
inˈvest/Submit
verb
1.
expend money with the expectation of achieving a profit or material result by putting it into financial schemes, shares, or property, or by using it to develop a commercial venture.
"getting workers to invest in private pension funds"
synonyms: put money into, provide capital for, fund, back, finance, subsidize, bankroll, underwrite; More

A return of 8-10% is reasonable, 2000% is usuarous to the extreme!
 
Twila
+1
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by JLMView Post

A return of 8-10% is reasonable, 2000% is usuarous to the extreme!

they weren't seeing profit of 2000%. They were loosing money and increased the price by 2000% to make back the money that they'd been loosing for the past few years.
 
tay
#17
Since Marijuana extracts work for children and adults with epilepsy I wonder if that option will become available for infants who can then leave the investors to ponder their ways......
 
Walter
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by tayView Post

Since Marijuana extracts work for children and adults with epilepsy I wonder if that option will become available for infants who can then leave the investors to ponder their ways......

Even grow-ops need investors.
 
Twila
+1
#19
they may need to seek out angel investors and leave the vampire investors to their own devices.
 
Ludlow
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

Supply and demand in action

aka,,,,greedy buzzards in action
 
tay
#21
Pharmaceutical companies are supposed to make medicines accessible for all. Granted, they have to make a profit, but that profit shouldn’t come at the expense of people’s lives, as was the case with Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. This week, the company settled a lawsuit (external - login to view) with the FTC for $100 million. Mallinckrodt supposedly engaged in illegal anti-competitive behavior to maintain its monopoly on an infant medication for epilepsy.

Acthar Gel (external - login to view), a hormone injection used to treat infantile spasms, was acquired by Mallinckrodt when it bought Questor Pharmaceuticals in 2014. Before Questor bought the drug in 2001, it sold for $40 a vial. In 2012, under Questor, the price was raised to $28,000 a vial. After Mallinckrodt acquired the drug from Questor, the price went up even higher to $34,000 per vial. This inflated pricing generated more than $1 billion in revenue for Mallinckrodt in 2015.

In order to maximize their profits from this specialized drug, Mallinckrodt snuffed out its only competition, Synacthen, a drug long used outside of the U.S. to treat infantile spasms. After buying the rights to Synacthen, Mallinckrodt locked the drug away, ensuring a monopoly on drug treatment for this rare condition.

The Mallinckrodt case was brought to light by pharmaceuticals entrepreneur Martin Shkreli, who himself is a known price gouger.

Shkreli name-dropped Mallinckrodt and Questor to the FTC in 2014 when his own company, Retrophin, filed a suit against the other two pharmaceutical manufacturers for anticompetitive tactics. But don’t be mistaken about which side Shkreli is on, the patient’s or the bottom line’s — he jacked up the price of anti-parasitic drug Daraprim (external - login to view) overnight by 5,000 percent. Clearly, the drug isn’t that complicated to produce as high school students in Australia (external - login to view) managed to make it themselves.

This kind of behavior is terrible for society. Medicines should be accessible to those who are in need of them, but all too often pharmaceutical companies forget the “pharma” side of their business and just focus on being for-profit undertakings. Of course, income is important — some of it can be put back into research to develop even better drugs — but the patients who depend on medications like Acthar Gel are far more valuable. Healthcare shouldn’t focus on patents or income. It should focus on patients.

https://futurism.com/company-raises-...epsy-by-85000/ (external - login to view)
 
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