Nothing disgusts me about the USA quite so much as the hypocrisy surrounding “health care”. It’s a grab-and-kill free for all, in which greed is the motive, and the only winners are the insurance system and Big Pharma.
Patients can go hang… or die. And millions do!
This is the story that grabbed my attention:
Arthritis Drug Price Spiked 50-Fold
The cost of a 30-count box of indomethacin (Indocin), an anti-inflammatory rectal suppository for arthritis, which should cost about $25, was already nearly $200 in 2008 ($198).
Indocin has changed ownership several times over the years, most recently being acquired by Assertio in May 2020. Assertio raised the price twice, first to about $6,000 at the start of 2021, then to $10,350 on 1st October.1
Unbelievable: $10,300 for a box of fancy aspirin, to be stuffed up your backside!
$340 a bung up the backside? You gotta be kidding!
Why it matters: As federal lawmakers continue to waver on drug price reforms (for wavering, read corrupted). Indocin is another example of how nothing prevents drug companies from hiking prices at will and selling them within a broken supply chain.
The Story So Far: Indocin has changed ownership multiple times over the years, and the companies involved have controversial histories (meaning they are all BENT as a safety pin).
- Iroko Pharmaceuticals, the original owner of Indocin suppositories, consistently raised the drug’s price.
- Indocin’s list price (what uninsured patients would pay) was $198 for 30 suppositories in 2008. Iroko raised it to $2,550 by January 2018 after more than a dozen separate increases, according to Elsevier’s Gold Standard Drug Database.
- Later in 2018, Iroko was going bankrupt and sold itself to another small company called Egalet.
- Egalet doubled the price of Indocin, to $5,100, months after the company acquired it, according to Elsevier’s pricing database.
- Egalet then changed its name to Zyla Life Sciences in 2019, right after its price hikes were aired, presumably to9 raise a smokescreen.
- Zyla raised the price on Indocin again, to $5,604.90 in January 2020, and then sold itself to a separate drug company called Assertio in May 2020.
- Assertio are another crooked bunch of swindlers, selling a “controversial” opioid, meaning a swindle for the public, over-priced and over-sold.
- Since acquiring Indocin, Assertio has marked up the price twice: first to $6,159.79 at the start of 2021, and then again on October 1st to $10,350.
- That’s a fifty-fold increase on the 2008 price.
When are the CEO and other execs of Assertio going to indicted for criminality? Answer: never. They are all crooks in the same stinky wall-to-wall manure stable as the FDA and CDC. There is no existing law to reign in this outrageous white-collar gangsterism.
This little shit is the notorious price-gouger who in 2015 made national headlines after his pharmaceutical firm Turing acquired Daraprim—a drug designed to treat toxoplasmosis in AIDS patients, pregnant women, and cancer sufferers—and promptly increased its per-pill cost from $13.50 to $750. That’s a 550-fold price hike.
What a smug little prick looks like
I am especially enraged that Shkreli named his company Turing, after Alan Turing, the guy that invented modern computers (movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch: The Imitation Game), sadly murdered in an impoverished age in which homosexuals were considered perverts and a security risk.
Turing was a hero of the free world; Shkreli is not…
Unfortunately, there are no national pharmaceutical price gouging or drug price transparency laws in the United States. That leaves monsters like Shkreli free to do to patients whatever they want.2
Surprise, surprise. The Nazi-based firm Merck, built on slave labor from concentration camps, is now facing accusations of price gouging after it charged the U.S. over $700 per patient for a taxpayer-funded coronavirus treatment that, according to research, costs just $17.74 to produce.
We already know how much they care about human beings: the evil drug Vioxx killed half a million people before it was withdrawn. Mistakes happen (if you are greedy and careless, for sure) but the trouble that Merck went to, in order to hide the deadly effects of their drug, is well documented.
And yes, they fudged the numbers and tried to get away with claiming just 55,000 or so deaths. Lies! Some people think that 500,000 was nearer the truth. Remember: deaths from Vioxx have continued over the years, long after the original official counting estimates.3
Merck does not give a damn about you, medicine, patients, treatments or just human beings, any more than the Nazis did. They are just GREEDY.
Merck in charging $712 for a course, or roughly 4,000% markup, for a drug paid for by the taxpayer: molnupiravir, supposed to be an oral treatment for COVID-19. You have no choice folks: the idiot government has ordered 10 million doses, at a cost of approximately $7 billion.
“Governments must break Merck’s monopolies so generic companies can expand supply and slash prices globally,” said Asia Russell, executive director of Health GAP.
Heidi Chow of the Jubilee Debt Campaign decried the $700-per-patient price the U.S. government paid for the drug molnupiravir as “another example of Big Pharma reaping billions from public investment into research by charging extortionate, rip-off prices for lifesaving COVID drugs.”
As “The Intercept’s Sharon Lerner reported Tuesday, molnupiravir was developed with the help of tens of millions of dollars in U.S. government funding.
Thing is, molnupiravir, costs about $1.96 per capsule, or $19.99 for a 5-days course. How is it possible to charge over $700 for that? Answer: evil greed.
It Pays To Shop Around
I know someone who was prescribed sildenfil (Viagra). The original quote was $1,400 for 20 or so tablets. By going to GoodRx.com and getting a preferment note, the patient was able to buy the same prescription for $25.
Now I assume the pharmacy was making a profit, even at that. So what kind of markup would that be? They were making more money from sex than a porno site!
My buddy, Dr. Graham Simpson, told me another example at dinner last night. It’s about the new hepatitis C drugs. I’m especially passionate about this cure because I lost my father to hep C. He was a hemophiliac and died of dirty blood, imported from the USA, which infected him.
The cost of ledipasvir/sofosbuvir in the USA was $76,000 in 2017. Dr. Graham was offered a $10,000 discount in Dubai, being a practising physician. Big deal: $66,000.
He paid? $986 from India.
It pays to shop around. Don’t let them scare you off Indian-manufactured drugs. They are not “dirty” or phoney. This substance was made in the exact same factory that was making them for Gilead Sciences, the robber barons who wanted $76,000 from trusting Americans.
Even right here in Vegas, 60 tablets of metformin, a diabetic drug—often used for anti-aging—was $160 at CVS Pharmacy. But you could actually buy it for $7.95, if you know what to do (get a club card).
Just stay away from doctors and drugs, if you want to live long and live well! Then you can’t be gouged.
Prof. Keith Scott-Mumby
The Official Alternative Doctor