Counterfeits Kill: Stronger Law Enforcement Needed

When one thinks of counterfeit goods, it can conjure up images of customers being duped into buying inferior quality designer bags or other fashion knockoffs. However, when it comes to the manufacturing, distribution and sale of counterfeit medications, the outcomes can be much more serious and life threatening. Most consumers probably don’t realize that counterfeit […]

Latest ConsumerGram: Lowering Drug Prices in Maryland Means Bringing Transparency to PBMs

Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) administer prescription drug plans for sponsors (e.g., employers and insurers), negotiate drug prices with manufacturers, and negotiate reimbursement terms with pharmacies. This ConsumerGram analyzes the structure, conduct and performance of the industry and finds that the lack of transparency in costs and prices leads to anticompetitive risks. The result can mean […]

Inside Sources: Pharmacy Benefit Managers Pad Their Profits at Your Expense

The harmful and anti-competitive business practices that PBMs thrive on are made possible by the industry’s secrecy and lack of transparency. Plan sponsors and beneficiaries should be given more information about how their insurance plans are managed and what rates are negotiated. Pharmacies should be allowed, and even encouraged, to point customers to lower-cost alternatives […]

Prescription Drugs That Your Insurer Objects to Paying For

Consumers have a love-hate relationship with prescription drugs.  We love the wonderful new drugs that treat and sometimes cure conditions that were once life-threatening, but we hate the sometimes-unaffordable prices of the latest drugs.  Consumers who have prescription insurance coverage are somewhat insulated from the full price of drugs, but insurers and pharmacy benefit managers […]

Can Drug Prices be Lowered?

Lowering the consumer price for a drug is in the public interest, provided that its sales margin recovers its development cost.  Pharmaceuticals do not spontaneously emerge like weeds in a field.  They are complex chemical or biological agents that are painstakingly designed and extensively tested for safety and efficacy.   That said, there are steps worth […]

Clawbacks — Another Source of Prescription Cost Overpayment

Brand and Generic drug prices show different pricing behaviors. In brand drugs, we see the effects of the 20 years of monopoly protection accorded to the first patent holder. However, the 20 years starts when the drug is invented, not when the FDA authorizes it for public use. Usually brand drugs are affordable despite noticeably […]

Apple, Amazon, and Google Involvements in the Health Care Industry

There has been much speculation about where and how quickly Apple, Amazon, and Google will join the health care industry. At $1.7 trillion in 2016, Health Care is a growth opportunity where the three tech giants are seeking footholds. Apple is shaping its health care involvement by harnessing its strength in electronics and software. It […]

Organizations Call On Congress to Encourage Prescription Competition

A large group of organizations are calling on Congress to remove regulatory barriers in order to allow generic drug makers to have access to brand name drugs for FDA testing and approval.  The bill would encourage competitive entry once brand name drug patents have expired, permitting new rivals to provide lower cost drugs to doctors […]

Anti-Consumer: Maryland House Bill 631 Would Raise Drug Prices

Senator Thomas M. Middleton, Chair Senator John C. Astle, Vice-Chair Senator Joanne C. Benson Senator Brian J. Feldman Senator Stephen S. Hershey, Jr. Senator J. B. Jennings Senator Katherine A. Klausmeier Senator James N. Mathias, Jr. Senator Nathaniel T. Oaks Senator Edward R. Reilly Senator James C. Rosapepe  Dear Senators:  The American Consumer Institute, a nonprofit educational […]