martes, 22 de enero de 2019

The 20 most expensive drugs in the USA


Takeda is about to buy its way to a number 1 spot in the top tier of drugmakers fielding the most expensive drugs on the planet.

Once its $62 billion Shire buyout goes through, Takeda will be responsible for selling three of the 20 most expensive drugs on the market today, according to the latest list from GoodRx. And that’s more than any other manufacturer on the ranking.

Why 20 this year, instead of their trademark top 10?

The drug pricing analysts at GoodRx decided that they needed to double the number of drugs tracked in order to be able to fully capture the growing ranks of therapies that command wholesale prices of more than $25,000 a month.

Number 1 (again): Actimmune from Horizon Pharma, which lists at $52,322 a month.

With rare diseases a hot field in drug R&D, we’ve seen a raft of new medications that cost well into six figures a year. Shire’s three are Cinryze, in at the number 3 spot for $44,141; the newly approved Takhzyro, number 4 at a dollar less — $44,140; and Firazyr, $32,468.

While high drug prices remains one of the hottest topics in Washington DC, the financial toxicity has failed to blunt even the most controversial price on the list. Daraprim, marketed by Vyera — the successor to Turing, founded by now federal prison inmate Martin Shkreli — holds the number 2 spot, with a list price of $45,000 a month.


Precio: El mayor de todos los incrementos...Martin Shkreli / Daraprim (Turing) (I)

The drug is decades old, off patent, and the inflated price has been in the public spotlight for 3 years. Public outrage, congressional hearings and a 7-year sentence for investor fraud, though, haven’t put a dent in Shkreli’s legal and not so uncommon pricing strategy.

Daraprim’s price is higher than the WAC on Luxturna, a gene therapy for a rare, genetically triggered eye disease that causes people to go blind, which lists at $850,000 for a one-time use.

Shkreli has another drug on this list, as well. The fraudster also founded Retrophin, where he jacked up the price of Chenodal five-fold. Shkreli got booted out of the company, but the price remained intact. GoodRx figured the monthly list price at $42,570, though patients could wind up taking anywhere from 90 to 210 pills per month, at a cost of $473 a tablet.

As Shkreli taught the world, the age of a drug doesn’t always detract from the price. Cuprimine, notes GoodRx, has been around since the ’70s, yet Valeant still uses a list price of $261.89 a tablet — around $28,000 a month. And while hep C drug costs have come way down, GoodRx analysts still figure the list price of Gilead’s Harvoni at $31,500 a month while Sovaldi registers at $28,000 a month.

To be sure, the list price — as any pharma marketer will tell you first — is the number they start with, discounting down as they work with payers on price. GoodRx made sure to note just how many of the top 20 manufacturers have worked to ensure that there’s a low, direct out-of-pocket for these drugs.

But there’s still a steep price to be paid by insurers, which is passed on to members through monthly fees, while the figures remain a potent symbol of the wave of pricey drugs that remain for years on the list.(Ver)

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