Pharmaceutical price increases slowing

Joe Paduda finds the price inflation is slowing for drug purchased through Workers Comp programs. “Drug trend continues to moderate, with inflation in 2007 coming in at 4.3%. That’s a big improvement over last year’s 6.5%, which was a big improvement over the previous year’s 9.5%…” One reason for the price decline may be that…

Pharmaceuticals in Developing Countries

The Economist has an interesting article on how pharmaceutical companies are trying to hawk their wares in developing countries (“Quagmire or goldmine?“) Generally, Pharma has stayed away from selling in developing countries due to uncertainties in their level of patent protection. For instance, Brazil has “threatened to invoke compulsory licensing (a legal mechanism that, in…

Wal-mart: $10 for 90-day supply of generic drugs

Is the free market working?  Looks like.  Wal-mart just dropped its prices on pharmaceuticals.  According to a Marketwatch article (“Wal-mart…“) : Wal-mart will fill prescriptions for as many as 350 generic drugs costing $10 for a 90-day supply Over 1000 over-the-counter drugs are priced at $4 or less.  Many of these include Wal-mart own private…

Increased Copays for high priced drugs

Consumers are starting to pay a larger share for high priced drugs.  According to the N.Y. Times (“Co-payments“), insurance companies “…are charging patients a percentage of the cost of certain high-priced drugs, usually 20 to 33 percent, which can amount to thousands of dollars a month.”  Medicare’s drug plans have introduced new fee schedules where…

Gary Becker on Medicare Part D

Medicare is inefficient and expensive. Medicare has been expanded through Medicare Part D, which covers prescription drugs. Can expanding an inefficient, expensive system be a good thing? Gary Becker argues yes. Since drugs have high fixed research costs but low marginal costs, having the government pay for drugs can increase innovation. In fact, a working…

Is the FDA Safe and Effective?

The Food and Drug Administration is one of the most important government agencies. The FDA has an interesting history and below I will review some important dates. 1938 Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. This law was enacted after the drug Elixer Sulfanilamide killed over 100 people. Firms were required to submit new drugs to…