Th3 Core

Why We Are Here => Water Cooler => Topic started by: rcjordan on January 29, 2020, 01:56:21 PM

Title: Illinois governor signs law capping insulin costs at $100 per month
Post by: rcjordan on January 29, 2020, 01:56:21 PM
New price control. Let's see what happens.

https://www.nbc15.com/content/news/Illinois-governor-signs-law-capping-insulin-costs-at-100-per-month-567282431.html
Title: Re: Illinois governor signs law capping insulin costs at $100 per month
Post by: ergophobe on January 29, 2020, 04:11:08 PM
It doesn't say who pays the difference? That is, is this:

 - a price cap (i.e. comes out of drug company $$$)
 - an out-of-pocket cap (i.e. insurance company pays)
 - govt pays

If it's a price cap, what happens if the drug companies refuse to sell at that price?
Title: Re: Illinois governor signs law capping insulin costs at $100 per month
Post by: rcjordan on January 29, 2020, 04:48:39 PM
IIRC, there are at least 3 states considering insulin $$-caps.  I do not recall reading "who pays" anywhere.

>govt pays

Illinois is beyond dead broke, so I doubt it is the state.  Then again, they apparently love digging a deeper financial hole, so who knows.

>what happens if the drug companies refuse to sell at that price?

Like I said, interesting to watch.  Given the relatively rapid run-up in insulin prices over the last few years, I suspect there is plenty of margin here for some companies to keep their hand in the pot.  In a way, this may be a gov play on a quote attributed to Bezos; "Your margin is my opportunity."
Title: Re: Illinois governor signs law capping insulin costs at $100 per month
Post by: littleman on January 29, 2020, 05:41:31 PM
Related: California may getting into the generic drug business, which seems like a great idea to me.



Title: Re: Illinois governor signs law capping insulin costs at $100 per month
Post by: ergophobe on January 29, 2020, 06:02:02 PM
I wonder what this will do to stimulate or retard the efforts for an open source insulin.

The story of insulin's patent history and how it is even possible for it to stay patented is tragic. The researchers developed it with the idea of making it available, but they took drug-company money to help ramp up production and the company (I forget which one) was then able to tweak formulas for years and years to always keep the best insulin under patent protection.

There's no question that the best insulin today is dramatically better than then original insulin, but I wonder if it's any better than the insulin of 20 years ago. I'm guessing not and these tweaks are mostly to avoid losing the patent protection.

Our patent and copyright laws desperately need reform.
Title: Re: Illinois governor signs law capping insulin costs at $100 per month
Post by: rcjordan on January 29, 2020, 07:45:44 PM
Saw articles like this in my reader a month ago;

'The article is a standard “triumph over adversity” piece until it casually notes in the 17th paragraph: “Williams doesn’t have medical insurance and cannot afford the treatment. So he buys insulin that’s sold for dogs at Walmart for $24.99 per bottle.”'

Injecting yourself with dog insulin? Just a normal day in America | Opinion | The Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/01/us-healthcare-insulin-diabetes-jordan-williams

>patent
I've previously read that the recent patents are tweaks for price-boosting justification and haven't significantly increased effectiveness.
Title: Re: Illinois governor signs law capping insulin costs at $100 per month
Post by: ergophobe on January 29, 2020, 10:21:23 PM
>patent
I've previously read that the recent patents are tweaks for price-boosting justification and haven't significantly increased effectiveness.

Apparently there's a technique where you don't patent the whole drug at once. Like if a drug uses three molecules or has three proprietary processes to create a given molecule, you spread out the applications over time. I have to admit I didn't fully follow how it worked, but somehow there are drugs that are 35 years old that are unchanged and still protected because of clever patent strategies.
Title: Re: Illinois governor signs law capping insulin costs at $100 per month
Post by: ergophobe on January 29, 2020, 10:26:14 PM
Quote
An analysis released last month by my organization, the Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge, shows that there have been an astonishing 247 patents filed on Humira, nearly half of them in just the last four years.. we found there are an average of 125 patent applications filed and 71 patents granted for each of the 12 highest-grossing drugs in America... the U.S. patent on Humira expired in 2016, but add-on patents and reported settlements made with generic suppliers will keep generic alternatives out of reach of patients until at least 2023.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/opinion-humira-costs-patents_n_5bd0c893e4b0a8f17ef3961f

It doesn't elaborate on the "settlements with generic suppliers," but I wonder... does this mean they are getting paid to *not* make drugs? Haven't looked into that yet.

Anyway, the key point in all of this is that the legal 20 years of protection is being toyed with to more monopoly protection, sometimes almost 40 years of protection. Meanwhile, the maker of Humira has doubled the price. If Econ 101 were actually true, and not a fairy tale, it should be going the opposite direction.
Title: Re: Illinois governor signs law capping insulin costs at $100 per month
Post by: rcjordan on February 08, 2020, 03:06:58 PM
Debbie says elections are coming up.

Lawmakers across the US push for caps on life-saving insulin payments - CNN
https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/08/us/states-passing-bills-insulin-insurance-copay-trnd/index.html