In our modern consumer society, Type 2 diabetes has become a widespread disease. Companies are developing drugs that are increasingly expensive, but not necessarily more effective. Health authorities are powerless. Diabetes is spreading rapidly, all over the world. The disease destroys lives and puts a strain on public budgets.
The UN is calling on governments to take action. Diabetes is proof that modern societies are incapable of adequately treating chronic disease. It affects around 430 million people worldwide, with two main metabolic disorders falling under the name diabetes. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease that must be treated with lifelong doses of insulin, while type 2 can develop when a person’s diet is too high in fat and sugar and they do not engage in enough physical activity.
With turnover of $46 billion, diabetes is a massive and extremely lucrative market. Constantly promised miracle cures have not led to satisfactory treatment, with patients either taking too many drugs or no longer being able to afford them. It’s a desperate situation, and the only ones benefiting seem to be pharmaceutical companies. A medical focus on blood glucose levels has led to an overreliance on medication, sometimes without due concern for dangerous side effects.
Patients become trapped in a cycle of treatment, which in many cases still does not halt the disease’s progression. This can lead to amputations, blindness and heart attacks. And yet there are alternatives that could flatten the curve of the type 2 diabetes epidemic, while reducing health care spending. Improved diet can be a preventative measure, and a strict adherence to diet can also bring about remission in the case of Type 2 diabetes.
But these solutions require effort, as well as a complete rethinking of chronic disease management. Filmed on three continents, this documentary features industry whistleblowers, patients, researchers and medical professionals. It also confronts pharmaceutical companies about their responsibility for the situation.
Why can’t the U.S. control prescription drug pricing as they do in the U.K., where per-capita spending is less than half our level?
In a capitalist democracy, many parties — the drug companies, medical associations, consumer groups — get to lobby their points of view. Is the problem intractable, or just an exercise in chaos?
Our three guests have written a book about the problem, “The Right Price: A value-based prescription for drug costs.” And although they don’t have a definitive answer, they do offer recommendations, interesting observations, and a way forward.
More than 360,000 people died from coronary artery disease in 2019. While there is no cure to the disease, you can take steps to lower your risk and manage the harmful plaque build-up impacting your health. The information in this video was accurate as of 11.25.2021 and is for information purposes only. Consult your local medical authority or your healthcare practitioner for advice.
Chapters: 0:00 Intro 0:12 What is coronary artery disease? 0:26 What are the signs of coronary artery disease? 0:41 Can you reverse coronary artery disease? 1:04 What are statins? 1:34 What are the treatments for coronary artery disease? 1:46 Make lifestyle changes to reduce your risk. 2:07 Taking medication can help treat coronary artery disease. 2:25 What is a coronary stent procedure? 3:03 What is coronary artery bypass graft surgery? 3:36 What’s the best treatment for coronary artery disease? 3:45 When should you talk to your doctor about coronary artery disease symptoms?
Molnupiravir (MK-4482, EIDD-2801) is an investigational oral antiviral medicine that significantly reduced the risk of hospitalization or death at a planned interim analysis of the Phase 3 MOVe-OUT trial in at risk, non-hospitalized adult patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19. At the interim analysis, molnupiravir reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by approximately 50%; 7.3% of patients who received molnupiravir were either hospitalized or died through Day 29 following randomization (28/385), compared with 14.1% of placebo-treated patients (53/377); p=0.0012. Through Day 29, no deaths were reported in patients who received molnupiravir, as compared to 8 deaths in patients who received placebo.
Interview with Dr. William Feldman on a new federal price-transparency rule and legal challenges to efforts to increase access to pricing information.
William Feldman is a physician and researcher in the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Stephen Morrissey, the interviewer, is the Executive Managing Editor of the Journal.
Statins are a type of medication used to lower the level of bad cholesterol in the blood and reduce build-up in arteries that can cause a heart attack or stroke. This short animated video explains the importance of statins, how they work, and why your doctor may prescribe them.
There may be few issues that unite Americans ahead of the 2020 election as do their concerns about the cost of prescription drugs.
A clear majority — 75% — of respondents to a July survey said the cost of prescription medicines would be among the factors likely to influence their votes this year, according to a report from Gallup and the nonprofit West Health. Gallup reported on results from 1,007 interviews conducted with adults between July 1 and July 24.
1. What are the 2020 presidential candidates saying they will do to lower drug prices?
Both President Donald Trump, a Republican, and former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat, have highlighted insulin costs in their discussions of the need to lower drug prices.
In a January interview with the New York Times editorial board, Biden noted the widespread discontent among Americans about sticker shock often experienced at pharmacies. He spoke of a need for the federal government to act to make medicines more affordable.
“This is a place where I find, whether you’re Republican or Democrat, you think you’re getting screwed on drug prices. And you are, in terms of everything from insulin to inhalers and a whole range of other things,” Biden said. “So, again, can I guarantee that it gets done? No, but I can tell you what, if anybody can get it done, I can, and I think there’s a consensus for it.”
2. Why doesn’t Medicare, the biggest U.S. purchaser of drugs, directly negotiate on drug prices?
Congress has taken different approaches in designing the terms under which the two largest federal health programs, Medicaid and Medicare, buy drugs.
Medicaid is a program run by states with federal contributions and oversight. It covers people with low incomes and disabilities. Almost 67 million people were enrolled in Medicaid as of May 2020, including about 29 million children. In 1990 Congress decided that drugmakers who want to have their products covered by Medicaid must give rebates to the government. The initial rebate is equal to 23.1% of the average manufacturer price (AMP) for most drugs, or the AMP minus the best price provided to most other private-sector payers, whichever is greater. An additional rebate kicks in when prices rise faster than general inflation.
3. What’s the deal with rebates and discounts?
There’s widespread frustration among lawmakers and policy analysts about the lack of clarity about the role of middlemen in the supply chain for medicines. Known as pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), these businesses describe the aim of their business as making drugs more affordable for consumers. Insurers like Cigna and UnitedHealth operate some of the nation’s largest PBMs, as does pharmacy giant CVS Health, which also owns insurer Aetna.
“They will tell you their mission is to lower drug costs,” said Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter, a Georgia Republican, a pharmacist and a critic of PBMs, in a speech on the House floor last year. “My question to you would be: How is that working out?”
4. What is the “distinctly American” phenomenon of specialty drugs?
In this Perspective article, Kesselheim and Naci look at how the “specialty” designation morphed from its origin in the 1970s. It then referred to a need for extra steps for preparation and delivery of new injectable and infusion products.
5. How much does it cost to bring a new drug to market anyway?
The median cost for a medicine developed in recent years was $985 million, according to a study published in JAMA in March 2020, “Estimated Research and Development Investment Needed to Bring a New Medicine to Market, 2009-2018.”
“Rising drug prices have attracted public debate in the United States and abroad on fairness of drug pricing and revenues,” write the study’s authors: Olivier J. Wouters of the London School of Economics; Martin McKee of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; and Jeroen Luyten of Leuven Institute for Healthcare Policy, KU Leuven, Belgium. “Central to this debate is the scale of research and development investment by companies that is required to bring new medicines to market.”