miércoles, 24 de julio de 2019

Unos pagan...


 “Most* patients pay between $0 and $5 per month” for Janssen’s drug Stelara, the chart proclaims.

But, boy, does that asterisk contain quite the caveat. Way down at the other end of the graphic, any patient paying the list price is shelling out a whopping $11,002 every month for the same drug.

The jarring figure comes from a new Janssen website launched recently as part of the broader pharmaceutical industry’s push to disclose some pricing information in its television ads. A broad swath of companies voluntarily agreed to include mention of a website with pricing information in the spots as a response to a far more stringent Trump administration proposal that would have required them to actually include a drug’s sticker price. The final version of that proposal is still pending regulatory review.

The websites offer a new and rare window into the exceptionally opaque drug pricing world. For the first time ever, consumers eager to ask their physician about the latest and greatest drug will have some sense of how much that drug is going to cost them before they trek over to their doctors’ office for a prescription.

They also underscore just how hard it is to calculate something like “the price of a drug.” A myriad of factors — many of which are outside of drug makers’ control — go into determining what exactly a patient pays out of pocket. The drug companies, in many cases, went to great lengths to explain that to consumers on their new websites, and to list out the options available to anyone who can’t afford a medication.

But no good deed goes unpunished. STAT dug into each company’s new website to compile the highlights, and of course, the lowlights.

And with that: The First Annual WACkies. (Yes, we made a joke about wholesale acquisition cost.)

The ‘Oh, my God, I can buy a small sedan for that price’ award 

Janssen wins this unenviable accolade. It tried its best to assure would-be customers that most people pay less than $5 dollars a month for its Crohn’s disease drug Stelara (it even made a sleek periwinkle graphic to drive the point home!). But you can’t help but lose your breath when you see the list price for the drug is more than $11,000 per month. No amount of Photoshop and pastel tones is going to make that one sting any less.

Janssen, it is worth noting, is the lone company on this list to include actual pricing information — rather than just a link to its website — in the TV spots, a voluntary policy it announced in February. 

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