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Description and Analysis of the Health Policy Issue & Its Implication for Health Care

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Turing and Valeant are raising the cost of medications and had no role in the development of the pharmaceutical that would cause the hike in price increase is a concern. The lack of transparency in the system. Valeant and Turing bought monopoly positions for old drugs that have been used for years. Drugs that are of great value to patients across the country. Nitropress used to treat patients whose blood pressure has risen to dangerous levels, jumped in price by more than three times to $805 per vial immediately after Valeant’s purchase, while Isuprel, which addresses heart rhythm problems, soared more than six times to $1,346 per vial. Turing purchased a 63-year-old anti-parasite pill, Daraprim (pyrimethamine), and took the even more brazen step of inflating its price by more than 5,000 % to $750/tablet. (Davis, 2016)

Insulin had a 20% increase in price with no new development and manufacturers have recouped their loss for the development.

Senator Susan Collins: concern that copays may be more than the actual price of some medications. The pharmacy should allow the customer to pay the lower price and not have a gag order to refuse to inform the customer the actual price for the medications.

Sen. Patty Murray: the patient must choose between buying their prescription drug, what food they can afford and if they have enough money even to put gas in their car. The Senate has been working on bringing more generic prescriptions to compete with Name brands to the market to compete for lower and for more affordable prices to consumers. Prevent gaming of drug hikes and force companies to show transparencies to why they set a drugs price.

Lori Reilly: The Food and Drug Administration has approved over 500 new medications. Through scientific innovations many diseases and conditions are manageable, and some are curable. Drug spending growth has been declining. Prescription drug spending growth last year was 3-5%. Spending on retail remains at approximately 14 %. There is a presumption that the 14% goes back to the manufacturing of prescription drugs. Less than half of this goes back to the brand name manufacturer. The rest of this percentage goes back to the generic industry and the supply chain. The Hospital sector and outpatient setting reimbursed by 2.5 to 3 percent of the actual cost they purchased the medications for. Hospitals are an important part of the supply chain. Rebates and discounts are not making it to patients at the point of sale.

Manufacturers raise prices to help develop new drugs and not necessarily recouping losses for the actual development of the drug the price is reflecting.

Possible solutions to the reducing the cost of drugs to the consumer are: discounts and rebates should pass back to patients to lower their costs.

Speed the approval for medications from manufacturing to the public.

Chip Davis: Generic is 89% but is only 26% of costs for prescription drugs. Generic prescription prices have gone up in prices. Generic medications compete for sales which creates fierce competition which helps reduce the prices on the market. The cost of manufacturing generic medications is 20% and the rest of the cost it is in the distribution in the supply chain.

Elizabeth Gallenagh: Distributors direct the drugs from manufactures to the retail market. They do charge a bonified fee for their services. There is a low-profit industry. The manufacturers set the overall profit margin in 1% and the actual cost for the product.

Mark Merritt: high profile scandals involving three drug makers recently Mylan pharmaceuticals 400 % EpiPen price hikes and Turing pharmaceuticals buying rights to older drugs then raising prices. Turing Pharmaceuticals bought an older drug called Daraprim. It’s used to treat a parasitic infection that can be deadly for people with HIV or cancer. The company raised the price of the drug from $13.50 per tablet to $750. (Luckerson, 2015).


(May 4, 2016). CDER: The Consumer Watchdog for Safe and Effective Drugs. U.S. Food and

Drug Administration.

(October 17, 2017). Senate Health Panel Explores Cost Prescription Drugs, Retrieved from


Davis, K. (JUNE 3, 2016). Price Gougers Like Valeant Pharmaceuticals Must Be Tamed. Forbes


O’donnell, J. Ungar L., (February 02, 2016). High drug prices mean you can’t afford

medications? There’s help. USA Today. drug-


Luckerson, V. (December 18, 2015), Everything to Know About the Arrested Drug Price Hiking CEO. Time Magazine.

Example 2

Field Experience Log

Title of Event / Sponsors: Rutland County Maternal-Child Health Coalition Tobacco Cessation in Pregnancy Meeting / Vermont Department of Health and the Rutland County Maternal-Child Health Coalition Preparation Steps Taken: Prior meeting minutes provided by Bethany Yon, Nutritionist at the Vermont Department of Health were reviewed. Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) Data from the CDC at was also reviewed. Place / Date / Time / Length: Rutland Area Visiting Nurses and Hospice (RAVNAH) in Rutland, Vermont / May 19, 2017 / 9:30 / 2 hours Topic Under Discussion: Pilot project for smoking cessation program for pregnant women. Names of Participants and Their Titles: Joanne Calvi (District Director / Nursing Supervisor Vermont Department of Health), Jill Hamilton (Registered Dietician / WIC Supervisor, Vermont Department of Health), Bethany Yon (Nutritionist, Vermont Department of Health), Kathleen Romano ( RN supervisor at Rutland Women’s Health Care), Sarah Cosgrove (Respiratory Therapist, Asthma Educator,


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