Article Archives

Top three insulin makers face class action lawsuit
We’ve been working with some allies concerned with the high cost of insulin. Through these connections, we found out about a class action lawsuit focused on insulin prices. The lawsuit, brought by a firm called Hagens Berman, alleges that the top three insulin manufacturers, Sanofi, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly, have been committing fraud by illegally raising ...
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RxRights takes part in panel discussion on drug prices
Our lead organizer, Lee Graczyk, was part of a panel in Minneapolis last week organized by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) regarding drug prices. The panel discussed methods of lowering prescription drug prices related to the senators’ new legislation. In January, they introduced S.41, the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act—which would allow Medicare to ...
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Amendment to allow drug importation fails
The process of dismantling the Affordable Care Act began in earnest earlier this week, as the Senate held a “vote-a-rama,” before passing the budget resolution ultimately designed to repeal the bill. During vote-a-rama, debate is limited but Senators are able to offer an unlimited number of amendments. Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) took ...
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How Big Pharma’s Money is Affecting Our Health and Our Wallets
Pharmaceutical companies have significant power and influence over our health – but this influence isn’t always positive. In order to push their products, pharmaceutical companies have paid doctors across a variety of fields of medicine to prescribe their drugs. The Law Firm created this infographic to highlight big pharma spending and encourage a “conservative prescribing” approach, ...
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RxRights year in review – 2016
For more than six years, RxRights has been working to promote and protect your access to safe and affordable medicine. After Martin Skhreli raised a drug’s price 5000 percent overnight late in 2015, this year began with hope of serious action to reduce drug prices. While drug prices continued to overburden Americans in 2016, we’ve made ...
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Faced with unaffordable drug prices, millions buy medicine outside the US
Kaiser Health News By Rachel Bluth As drug prices have spiraled upward in the past decade, tens of millions of generally law-abiding Americans have committed an illegal act in response: They have bought prescriptions outside the US and imported them. One was Debra Miller, of Collinston, La., who traveled to Mexico four times a year for 10 years ...
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Who benefits from the 21st Century Cures Act?
After several years of negotiations, Congress has reached an agreement on the 21st Century Cures Act, a massive bill with a host of implications for healthcare spending. The bill sailed through the House on November 30 with a 392 to 26 vote. A majority of the Senate voted to end debate on the bill Monday night. ...
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RxRights urges president elect to allow personal importation
President-elect Donald Trump is being urged to act immediately upon assuming office to explicitly legalize the personal importation of medicine from licensed registered pharmacies in (Tier One) countries whose standards of safety and efficacy meet or exceed those of the U.S. In an open letter to the President-elect from Lee Graczyk, lead organizer of RxRights, and ...
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How do insulin prices impact Americans?
We recently surveyed our supporters regarding the high price of insulin and how it affects you and your friends/family members. Since it’s National Diabetes Awareness Month, it’s an appropriate time to report our findings. A total of 873 people responded; 653 said they don’t use insulin but care about the impact the high price of insulin ...
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Legislators urge investigation into cost of insulin
You might recall that RxRights initiated a campaign last year regarding the skyrocketing price of insulin, based on your feedback. We enlisted your help to pressure drug makers and we’ve long been appealing to legislators. We’re pleased to see these efforts have been fruitful. The insulin issue is finally gaining traction with legislators and the ...
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What are Rx Rights worth to you?
Do you find our updates about prescription drug pricing valuable? Do you save money because you import your medications from another country? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, please think about how much you value our efforts to protect your access to affordable medicine. If you can, consider giving to the cause. We recognize ...
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Big Pharma Has Broken Its Social Contract
Forbes By Kenneth L. Davis Outrage over repeated hikes in the price of lifesaving EpiPens is the latest example of pharmaceutical companies breaking the social contract with patients who rely upon their medicines. Just as hospitals have an ethical commitment to treat patients regardless of their ability to pay, pharmaceutical companies have a similar obligation to ensure those ...
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President Obama: provide relief now for Americans who can’t afford meds
Price spikes for medications such as Daraprim and the EpiPen have received a lot of media attention lately. But these aren’t isolated incidents. The Wall Street Journal found the majority of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies used price hikes as a tactic to propel profits in 2016. This profit comes at the expense of patients. Millions ...
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Do we really want pharma to help with that co-pay?
When criticized for high drug prices, a pharmaceutical firm will commonly cite its generous co-pay and coupon assistance programs as a solution. But a new piece by experts published in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests these discount programs are actually part of the drug pricing problem. The article lays out five points to back up ...
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How Big Pharma’s Shadow Regulation Censors the Internet
Electronic Frontier Foundation By Jeremy Malcolm Americans pay by far the highest prices in the world for most prescription drugs, and of course big pharma would like to keep it that way. Key measures that the industry relies upon in this regard are the Prescription Drug Marketing Act and Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act ...
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Patient Advocacy Groups Want Presidential Candidates to Talk about Immediate Solutions to Lower Drug Costs at Next Debate
A group of patient advocates and businesses representing the right of Americans to engage in the importation of prescription medications from safe, credentialed international pharmacies, today announced joint support of an unprecedented initiative to ensure presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump address the issue of prescription importation at the second presidential debate. The group includes ...
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Publisher Lauds Committee for Mylan investigation, says time for Congress to pass legislation cutting Drug Prices
It is time for the American voter to hold Congress accountable and demand the end to Pharma pricing abuses as exemplified–this time–by Mylan ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, USA, September 29, 2016 /EINPresswire.com/ — The publisher of TodaysSeniorsNetwork, which includes  RxforAmericanHealth and the AmericanRxBillofRights, has lauded the members of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee for its vigorous questioning of ...
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Mylan CEO grilled by Oversight Committee
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing this week in an effort to get some answers from Heather Bresch, CEO of Mylan, regarding the company’s 500 percent EpiPen price hike. Bresch testified along with Dr. Doug Throckmorton, deputy director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. The EpiPen auto-injector is a ...
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Protecting Online Access to Safe and Affordable Medication
CircleID By Gabriel Levitt High drug prices are a global public health crisis. This is mostly the case among lower income countries but also for citizens and residents in the U.S, where tens of millions are not filling prescriptions due to cost. The international online marketplace is a much-needed lifeline for consumers who cannot afford prescription medication ...
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An Outcry Over the Price of EpiPen
Among three letters to the editor printed in the New York Times over the weekend in response to “Villain? Mylan’s Chief Says She’s No Such Thing” (Business Day, Aug. 27) was a piece by Gabriel Levitt, president of PharmacyChecker.com, an ally and member of RxRights. Read his letter below and the others here. To the Editor: There ...
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Minnesota Congressman drums up grassroots support for importation
Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) held a press conference on August 31 at the Minneapolis Urban League regarding the dire need for access to affordable medicine. Holding up EpiPens an attendee brought in, Rep. Ellison spoke of the recent dramatic price hike of the life-saving allergy drug made by Mylan. “I find this price-gouging by pharmaceutical companies ...
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The candidates agree: Legalize personal imports of prescription drugs
The Hill –  Healthcare Blog By Lee Graczyk and Tod Cooperman The recent national political conventions would lead one to believe that there is no common ground between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. But that’s not the case. Beneath all of the bitter acrimony is an issue on which both of the presidential candidates agree: the legal ...
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How drug companies rip off taxpayers
A recent news report from Minnesota sheds a light on a widespread and underhanded tactic that has been boosting drug company profits at the expense of taxpayers for years. Drug companies aren’t supposed to charge government programs like Medicaid and Medicare more than private health care consumers. Patients in these programs are supposed to qualify for ...
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International pharmacy crackdown doesn’t represent progress for consumers
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) came out with another progress report on their Internet Drug Outlet Identification Program last week that uses some of the same old scare tactics. The report is used as justification for NABP’s .Pharmacy Top-Level Domain (TLD) Program. The program switches eligible pharmacy websites from “.com” to “.pharmacy” domains. ...
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Here’s More Proof Health Care in America Is a Total Ripoff
Money By Brad Tuttle We pay way more for prescription drugs and services. This probably sounds like a broken record—only it’s far more annoying, because this oft-repeated message is a reminder that you are getting ripped off compared to virtually everywhere else on the planet: Prescription drugs, and health care in general, cost far more in the U.S. ...
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Protecting the health of Internet users or protecting pharma profits?
The search engine, Bing, announced in May that it will now accept .pharmacy top-level domains as proof of online pharmacy accreditation from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). Bing’s ad program already requires that pharmaceutical advertisers are accredited by the NABP.  If you use Bing, you may have noticed its attempts to scare ...
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Call for immediate action to remedy problem of unaffordable medicine
A recent AARP survey found that 81% of Americans ages 50 and up think prescription drug prices are too high; nearly 9 in 10 believe our leaders need to take action to address the problem. The two presumptive presidential candidates of the Democratic and Republican parties have voiced their support for the personal importation of prescription ...
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Celebrating and protecting our freedoms
The Fourth of July holiday is fast approaching. I want to wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday weekend! As residents of the United States, we have many freedoms to celebrate. But it’s also clear this country has some serious work to do in terms of ensuring access to affordable medicine, particularly for our ...
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NIH and HHS ignore petition to reduce cancer drug’s price
Earlier this year, we asked you to send a message to the secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) regarding the unjust pricing of the $129,000 prostate cancer drug, Xtandi. RxRights also signed on to a letter to the NIH, along with 10 other public ...
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RxRights lead organizer appears on New York radio program
Lee Graczyk, our lead organizer, was asked to share his expertise on the John Gambling Show on Tuesday. You can listen to the radio interview here. John’s discussion with Lee starts about 17 minutes and 30 seconds into the program. Topics discussed include: The fact that Medicare is prohibited from negotiating with drug companies and the history ...
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Drug companies continue to raise prices despite public backlash
ars technica By Beth Mole Last week, as Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed off on the first state law requiring drug companies to justify steep price hikes, Pfizer was in the process of raising the list prices of its drugs by an average of 8.8 percent, according to a Pfizer spokesperson. The price boost follows a similar ...
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Is the government cracking down on personal importation?
On October 15 of last year, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the FDA issued a rule giving the government the authority to seize and destroy personally imported drugs. We’ve been anxiously anticipating the fallout from this unjust regulation. And we just heard about an individual in Chicago whose medication was confiscated. It’s ...
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Americans can’t afford meds, resorting to extreme measures
Desperate people sometimes do desperate things. An 86-year-old man in Florida killed his wife of 50 years earlier this month. The reason he gave? She was suffering and they couldn’t afford her medicine. This tragedy was preventable. We’ve seen that drug prices for brand name, generic and specialty drugs continue to rise at alarming rates. Many ...
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The Real Reason Big Pharma Wants to Help Pay for Your Prescription
Bloomberg By Benjamin Elgin and Robert Langreth In August 2015, Turing Pharmaceuticals and its then-chief executive, Martin Shkreli, purchased a drug called Daraprim and immediately raised its price more than 5,000 percent. Within days, Turing contacted Patient Services Inc., or PSI, a charity that helps people meet the insurance copayments on costly drugs. Turing wanted PSI to ...
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What generics? Americans spent an extra $73b for brand-name meds
Stat News By Ed Silverman Doctors may be encouraged to prescribe lower-cost generics, but a new study found that Americans spent an extra $73 billion between 2010 and 2012 on pricier brand-name drugs because physicians failed to sufficiently recommend these copycat treatments to their patients. And consumers paid nearly one-third of those additional costs through out-of-pocket payments. Notably, ...
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Valeant execs testify at Congressional hearing on drug prices
Last week, executives from Valeant Pharmaceuticals testified before the Senate’s Special Committee on Aging during the third in a series of hearings investigating sudden price spikes in drugs that have been around for decades. During the three-hour hearing, Senate committee members took turns admonishing the execs for an unethical business model that put profits before patients. ...
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Rx for excess: The truth behind Big Pharma spending
The Globe and Mail By Eric Reguly Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump were outraged last fall when Turing Pharmaceuticals jacked up the price of Daraprim, a drug used to fight parasitic infections often found in AIDS patients, to $750 (all currency in U.S. dollars) a pill from $13.50. Yes, even The Donald. Clinton tweeted ...
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What do electronic prescriptions mean for consumers?
Electronic prescriptions became mandatory in the state of New York at the end of last month. The shift away from handwritten, paper prescriptions was sparked by prescription opioid abuse. It also aims to reduce prescription errors and integrate prescription information into electronic medical records. As of April 2014, nine in ten community pharmacies in all 50 ...
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Finding a safe international online pharmacy
A recent press release by PharmacyChecker.com reminded us we haven’t posted for a while about how to go about finding a safe international online pharmacy. As drug prices continue to go up, consumers are forced to pay more out of pocket for them, which means this virtual lifeline to affordable medicine has never been more ...
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Rx for Outrageous Drug Prices: Heal Our Democracy
HuffPost Politics By Robert Weissman Apart from the weapons makers, Big Pharma may be the most government-dependent industry in America. That’s why Big Pharma spends more on lobbying than any other industry, by far. In 2015, the pharmaceutical companies spent 50 percent more on lobbying than the runner-up industry (insurance). That tracks long-term trends, with Big Pharma spending ...
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Public interest groups, members of Congress call for public hearing on cancer drug’s price
Did you know your tax dollars support research that leads to drugs priced so high Americans can’t afford them? We think this is wrong and we urge you to help us speak out about this issue. RxRights signed on to a letter to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) last week, along with 10 other public ...
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Why is insulin so expensive?
A recent opinion piece in the New York Times by Kasia Lipska, an endocrinologist from the Yale School of Medicine, takes the three pharmaceutical giants who dominate the U.S. insulin market to task for their shocking price hikes. Lipska asserts that in the five-year period from 2010 to 2015, “the price of Lantus (made by Sanofi) ...
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Delays in availability of affordable generic drugs exacerbate high cancer drug prices in the United States
Houston Chronicle By James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy High drug prices, particularly cancer drugs, are the most significant health concern for Americans today. High drug prices reduce access to therapy, cause treatment abandonment and financial bankruptcies, as well as severe emotional and family distress. The availability of generic cancer drugs reduces these concerns. Unfortunately, ...
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This drug is defying a rare form of leukemia — and it keeps getting pricier
The Washington Post By Carolyn Y. Johnson When the drug company Novartis launched its breakthrough cancer medicine, Gleevec, in 2001, the list price was $26,400 a year. The company’s chief executive acknowledged it was expensive, calling it an “uphill battle to win understanding for our decision.” Today, that hill is a mountain. Since Gleevec was approved to treat ...
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Do you know where the candidates stand on drug prices?
Updated March 11, 2016 An Rx Price Watch report from AARP’s Public Policy Institute that was just released found retail prices for brand name, generic, and specialty prescription drugs widely used by Medicare beneficiaries went up an average of 9.4 percent in 2013 (the general inflation rate was 1.5 percent during that time). Drug pricing is clearly ...
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Pharma has money, we have numbers
Astronomical drug prices are a serious public health problem. But who’s to blame? Pharmaceutical and insurance industries point fingers at one another. Presidential candidates are talking about the issue. Congress has held hearings to discuss the problem. Meanwhile, prices aren’t going down. And Americans continue to suffer. It looks like it’s up to you and me ...
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Break Up the Insulin Racket
New York Times Opinion By Kasia Lipska ONE of my patients — whom I will call Mrs. B — is a 78-year-old who has had Type 2 diabetes for over 30 years. She takes several injections of insulin each day. Her blood sugars have been running too high, but she doesn’t want to increase the dose of ...
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Should You Buy Your Meds Through Online Pharmacies? Weigh the Pros and Cons
MoneyTalksNews By Nancy Dunham If you think political debate is contentious, try listening to physicians, pharmacists and patient advocacy groups discuss overseas pharmacies. As a long-time managing editor of medical publications – and a medical center spokesperson prior to that – I can almost guarantee that eavesdropping on such conversations will have you yearning for the seemingly reasoned ...
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The Skhreli spectacle continues at House hearing
Martin Skhreli continues to make headlines and garner contempt. The hedge fund manager turned pharma executive who is notorious for raising a drug’s price 5000 percent overnight, was an unresponsive witness at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing last week. The hearing was set to discuss methods and reasoning behind recent drug price increases ...
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RxRights response to Star Tribune editorial
This response was submitted to the Star Tribune on 1/26. It’s unclear if it will be published so we are posting it here too. The January 22 editorial “It’s up to Congress to curb the high costs of prescription drugs” is spot on. It’s time Congress moves “beyond political theater” on this issue. House Democrats held ...
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Martin Skhreli mocks Congressional subpoena
Martin Skhreli, the hedge fund manager turned pharma executive who is infamous for raising a drug’s price 5000 percent overnight, is now refusing to cooperate with two Congressional inquiries into drug prices. Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Skhreli invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to provide documents related to pricing subpoenaed by the Senate Special Committee on Aging. ...
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Holding Drug Companies Accountable for Drug Prices
Huffington Post By Ezekiel J. Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D. What’s the least controversial statement anyone could make about health care costs in the United States? Drug prices are out of control. No one really disputes it, and the real question is, Do we have the political will to do anything about it? A classic case is the cancer drug Gleevec, ...
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Members of Congress urge NIH to act on drug prices
More than 50 members of Congress are urging the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) to use their authority to bring relief to consumers struggling to pay exorbitant drug prices. A letter to Secretary of HHS Burwell and NIH Director Collins requests the development of official guidelines to discourage ...
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RxRights Year in Review 2015
RxRights has been working to promote and protect your access to affordable medicine for more than 5 years. Each year, we review our progress, reflect back on lessons learned, and look forward to the future. We have long warned that unaffordable drug prices amount to a public health crisis in America. Up until this past year, ...
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Are We Finally Ready to Rethink Prescription Drug Pricing?
AJMC.com By Leigh Purvis A prominent cancer specialist made headlines when he openly criticized the prices of new cancer drugs. In a speech given before the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), Leonard Saltz, MD, argued that, rather than value, drug prices are “based on what has come before and what the seller believes the market will ...
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Let’s end the year on a high note
For more than 5 years, RxRights has been fighting for access to affordable medicine. We nearly shut down after losing a major grant early this year. But many of you stepped up to help. So far, we’ve been able to stay the course because of your donations! But we could still use some help. One issue ...
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Drug pricing will continue to loom large for pharma in 2016
STAT News By Ed Silverman Of all the health care issues that loomed large this past year, none was more controversial — and compelling — than pharmaceutical pricing. Wall Street may have cheered the added revenue, but pricing strategies were increasingly under attack. Poll after poll found most Americans believe prices are too high. And more lawmakers — and presidential ...
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Take action for affordable insulin
We launched a campaign earlier this year to pressure insulin manufacturers to do something about the high price of insulin. Many of our supporters have sent messages to Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi–the three main manufacturers of insulin. Your messages had a tremendous impact. They opened a dialog with two of the three companies about ...
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Spotlight on drug prices continues
We’re pleased to see that drug prices remain in the spotlight, in terms of news stories and government attention. Last week, the Senate Special Committee on Aging held a bipartisan hearing on drug price increases. House Democrats held a hearing on drug affordability earlier in the month. And the Department of Health and Human Services ...
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Thanks to you, we’re making a difference
Today is Giving Tuesday, a global day focused around giving back. Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to RxRights. It’s an opportune time because we have a $5000 match—which means your donation dollars will be doubled. All donations up to $5000 will be matched! Many thanks to those who already donated! For five years, RxRights has ...
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Why the U.S. Pays More Than Other Countries for Drugs
Wall Street Journal By Jeanne Whalen Norway, an oil producer with one of the world’s richest economies, is an expensive place to live. A Big Mac costs $5.65. A gallon of gasoline costs $6. But one thing is far cheaper than in the U.S.: prescription drugs. A vial of the cancer drug Rituxan cost Norway’s taxpayer-funded health system $1,527 ...
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Administration, Congress to hold forum and hearings on drug prices
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is holding a forum on drug prices on Friday. The agenda for “Innovation, Access, Affordability and Better Health,” includes a discussion about patient access and affordability. The forum aims to “bring together consumers, providers, employers, manufacturers, health insurance issuers, representatives from state and federal government, and other ...
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Update on Insulin Action
It’s National Diabetes Awareness month—a fitting time to give you an update on the action we launched in August related to the high price of insulin. As you know, we don’t typically focus on a particular medication or disease. But people struggling to afford insulin continue to comment on our 2013 blog post about the drug’s ...
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How Much Money Can You Really Save Buying Drugs from Canada?
The People’s Pharmacy Q. I had a severe asthma attack that reduced my ability to breathe. The doctor prescribed Advair and the script was sent to my regular online pharmacy. They called me to ask permission to bill me $857 for the three-month supply. I declined. I began researching alternate ways of getting this inhaler and ended ...
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Members of Congress, HHS focusing on drug prices
As we’ve worked to promote and protect access to affordable medicine over the last five years, getting media attention for the issue has always been a challenge. But we’re pleased to see media attention lately and significant action around the topic of rising drug costs this week. As the costs of specialty, brand name and ...
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Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: October 2015
By Bianca DiJulio, Jamie Firth, and Mollyann Brodie This month’s Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that the affordability of prescription drugs continues to be at the top of the public’s priority list for the President and Congress, with “making sure that high-cost drugs are affordable to those who need them” and “government action ...
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Drug prices in the spotlight
Last month, CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals Martin Shkreli unwittingly became the face of pharma greed when he raised the price of a medication his company recently acquired 5,455 percent overnight. Daraprim is used to fight toxoplasmosis, which is a serious threat to people with compromised immune systems. It’s not a new drug; the FDA approved ...
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New threat to affordable medicine, opportunity to help
In May I wrote to let you know about a loss of funding that almost shut us down. A number of you reached into your pockets despite limited finances to help save RxRights—that’s the reason we were able to continue. We’re so thankful for this support! We’re on our way to our funding goal. With some ...
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Rule regarding the destruction of imported medicine released
The final rule related to Section 708 of the FDA Safety and Innovation Act has been released and goes into effect on October 15. This rule establishes a process for the seizure and destruction of imported prescription drugs valued at $2500 or less. To refresh your memory, Congress passed the FDA Safety and Innovation Act (S. ...
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Submit your story about rising drug prices
If you follow the news, you’ve seen lots of press lately about the former hedge fund manager who bought a drug company and jacked the price of a pill from $13.50 to $750 overnight. But, as many of you are well aware, this isn’t the first time such an outrageous increase has occurred. Lately, we’ve been ...
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A drug company raised a pill’s price 5,500 percent because, in America, it can
Vox By Sarah Kliff Daraprim is a small, white tablet that looks a lot like aspirin. It was created in the 1960s and treats a parasitic infection called toxoplasmosis. And last month, Daraprim’s price increased 5,500 percent. No, that is not a typo: Turing Pharmaceuticals recently acquired Daraprim from another drugmaker. Shortly after, the company raised the price ...
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How the U.S. could cure drug-price insanity
Fortune By Peter B. Bach, MD Back in the 1970s, my older brother and I would sometimes detour on our way home from school to our favorite used-comic-book store. An overflowing corner bin offered beat-up copies of The Flash, Batman, and The Fantastic Four, priced at a dime for one comic, a quarter for two. My brother would ...
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New bill addresses skyrocketing drug prices
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) just introduced comprehensive legislation to address the outrageous prices of prescription drugs. The Prescription Drug Affordability Act of 2015 aims to bring down drug prices through a variety of measures. Though we don’t endorse political candidates, RxRights signed on to support this legislation. You might recall that ...
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Tips for saving on prescription drugs
We regularly hear from people who can’t afford the high price of U.S. prescription drugs. Often we point those individuals to legitimate international online pharmacies. Many are able to find dramatic savings from Canadian and other international online pharmacies. But depending on the medication and their unique situation, importation may not be the right solution. ...
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Doctor’s attempt to bring lower-price diabetes drug to market thwarted
LA Times By David Lazarus Dr. Mayer Davidson has long been frustrated by the rising cost of prescription drugs, especially in his area of expertise — diabetes. He’s a professor of medicine at Charles R. Drew University and director of the diabetes program at the Martin Luther King Jr. Outpatient Center in South Los Angeles. There must be a ...
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Majority of Americans fed up with drug prices
We were pleased to see a plethora of press last week about a new Kaiser Family Foundation public opinion poll addressing prescription drug prices. The poll powerfully reiterates what we already know: American consumers are fed up with exorbitant drug prices. Specifically, 72 percent of those polled said drug costs are unreasonable. About one quarter of ...
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Majority across political spectrum in U.S. favor government steps to cut drug prices
FiercePharma By Eric Palmer The evidence is mounting that when it comes to drug prices, Americans have had enough and are not going to take it anymore. The latest poll on drug prices from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that a majority of Americans, including those not even taking prescription drugs, think prices are too high and a ...
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Insulin prices jeopardizing diabetic health, RxRights urges consumer action
Our latest press release, please consider taking action on behalf of diabetics who can’t afford insulin: RxRights, a nonprofit group concerned with the high cost of medicine, has launched a campaign to pressure pharmaceutical manufacturers to reduce insulin prices. “We recently heard from someone who was considering taking insulin formulated for dogs because it was cheaper and ...
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It’s time to tell pharma to stop jacking up insulin prices
RxRights doesn’t normally focus on a specific medication or a particular disease. But we wrote an article back in 2013 about the rising cost of insulin. And it is, by far, the most-read blog post we have ever written. Since it continues to garner comments each week from diabetics struggling to afford their needed medication, ...
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How High? The Backlash Over Rising Prescription Drug Prices Gains Steam
Wall Street Journal – Pharmalot By Ed Silverman If you had any doubt that prescription drug prices are the proverbial hot potato for the pharmaceutical industry, consider some recent developments. The Laura and John Arnold Foundation plans to give a $5.2 million grant to the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, a non-profit that examines the value of ...
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Americans go to extremes to access life-saving medicine
The high price of medicine in the United States is forcing people to go to extreme measures to obtain their life-sustaining medications. We heard a couple of disturbing stories this week that we want to share to illustrate this point. One person made a comment on our blog post about the price of insulin that really ...
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Prescription Purgatory: $100,000 a Year to Stay Alive
Healthline By Shawn Radcliffe “I got hit really hard, really fast,” says Erin Havel. Havel, a 38-year-old cancer survivor, is talking about her expensive prescription drugs, which cost more than $100,000 a year. That puts the Seattle woman in the fast-growing “super spender” category along with thousands of other people in the United States. Read more
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Trade agreement moves forward despite opposition
We’ve been anxiously watching Congressional action on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, particularly over the past weeks. Yesterday the Senate voted (60 in favor and 38 against) to give President Obama fast-track authority, a temporary and controversial power to negotiate this international treaty with little to no Congressional input. Now the bill moves to the ...
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Why has my online pharmacy stopped taking credit card payments?
Have you had trouble using a credit card to purchase medications from an international online pharmacy lately? You’re not alone. Unfortunately, this problem won’t be going away any time soon. Companies like Visa and Mastercard have joined the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP), an alliance of organizations that aims to protect people from rogue ...
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Tell Congress: Americans need relief from high Rx prices
Thanks so much to those of you who stepped up to donate to the cause and sign our petition to support the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act. Your financial support is directly tied to our ability to keep fighting for affordable medicine. Because of your willingness to take action, we’re up to 4706 ...
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Drug prices too high? Many blame pharma companies
CNBC By Dan Mangan Drug companies are going to need to take an aspirin—or three—after reading this. A new poll finds that most Americans see drug prices as being unreasonably high—and that people are far more likely to blame drug makers than they are to point the finger at health insurance companies. Read more
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U.S. Shifts Stance on Drug Pricing in Pacific Trade Pact Talks, Document Reveals
The New York Times By Jonathan Weisman Facing resistance from its Pacific trading partners, the Obama administration is no longer demanding protection for pharmaceutical prices under the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, according to a newly leaked “transparency” annex of the proposed trade accord. But American negotiators are still pressing participating governments to open up the process that sets reimbursement ...
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RxRights petition urges Congress to allow Americans access to Canadian medicine
Here’s our latest press release regarding our petition efforts. Have you signed? RxRights, a national group concerned with the high cost of medication, is urging consumers to sign a petition to support bills that would legalize the personal importation of authentic prescription medications from Canada. In January, Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced S.122, ...
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With Generic Prescription Drug Prices Surging, Families Are Feeling the Squeeze
We were particularly pleased to see this ABC News – Nightline coverage about shocking generic drug increases because it features Tricia Salese, one of our supporters. We’re so thankful for consumers who are willing to stand up and share their stories! By Gloria Riviera, Katie Yu and Lauren Effron When Tricia Salese called her local pharmacy for ...
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Help RxRights continue the fight for affordable meds
A major grant RxRights was depending on didn’t come through. This is a major blow—it could shut us down. Unless we manage to raise some funds to continue. As a small nonprofit program, we already operate frugally and on a modest budget. But if only 20 percent of the people on our email list donated just ...
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New Study Offers Drug Pricing Lessons from Abroad, Urges Changes in U.S.
California Healthline By George Lauer A new study that compares drug prices in four countries finds that “pharmaceutical prices in the United States are extraordinarily high and have contributed to an unsustainable level of spending on drugs.” The study from the Institute for Health Policy points out that other countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom and Australia, have ...
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Sanders takes aim at high drug prices
The Hill By Peter Sullivan Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) on Monday introduced a bill aimed at lowering the taxpayer burden for rising generic drug prices. Brand-name drug manufacturers are required by law to pay a rebate to Medicaid when their drug prices rise faster than inflation. Sanders and Cummings’s bill would extend this ...
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Petition urges Congress to legalize importation of Canadian meds
We’ve launched a petition today to support pending legislation to legalize the importation of cheaper prescription drugs from Canada. Click here to sign! And see our press release below: The prices of some generic medications have skyrocketed in the past year—increasing as much as 1000 percent. Brand name and specialty drug prices are on the rise ...
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Administration to investigate generic drug price hikes
As many of you well know, the prices of some generic medications have been increasing at an alarming rate. Since many Americans rely on the affordability of generics, we have been very concerned by this trend. We’re pleased to report that the federal government will be investigating this matter. You might recall that we enlisted your ...
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Prescription drug spending jumps 13% to record $374 billion in 2014
LA Times By Stuart Pfeifer Driven by innovative but pricey new drugs for hepatitis C, U.S. spending on prescription drugs jumped 13% last year to a record $374 billion, according to an industry report. The new hepatitis C drugs accounted for more than $11 billion of the spending, according to a report by IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, ...
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Legislation aims to get drug prices under control
Imagine spending $30,000 in one year on prescription drugs. That was the reality of RxRights member Joyce Gulseth and her late husband Don. Joyce cared for Don while he suffered through three organ transplants related to diabetes complications. At one point, Don was taking 64 pills each day. The cost of his medications, even with ...
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Drug importation not as dangerous as unaffordable medicine
An opinion piece on The Hill’s Congress Blog caught our attention last week. “Drug importation is a dangerous idea that won’t die” made a number of claims and misstatements that we felt warranted a response—so we submitted one by way of a DISQUS comment on the original piece. Well, it’s four days later and our comment ...
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America’s favorite illegal Canadian import? Prescription drugs
FOX 31 – Denver By Rob Low The cost of gas may be falling but the cost of prescription drugs continues to skyrocket. The solution for many Americans like Pat Castronova, lies just north of the border in Canada. “I just  don’t like being taken advantage of,” said the Denver retiree. Castronova considers herself a savvy consumer who ...
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Weighing Fair Drug Costs and Online Safety. Why Can’t We Have Both?
US Politics Today By Joe Rothstein My recent columns about the high cost of prescription drugs in the U.S. have triggered a flood of responses, on a par with those I can expect when I comment on gun safety. The gun issues are notably contentious. A person can be limiting gun and ammo sales and use or ...
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Why High Drug Prices require an RxBill of Rights for Americans
This is the first of a three part series from RxforAmericanHealth on why Americans need an RxBill of Rights that will guarantee their access to safe, affordable brand-name medicines from licensed, registered pharmacies in Tier One countries whose standards of safety and efficacy meet or exceed those of the US. Imagine that you lived in a ...
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How expensive medications are increasingly out of reach
Washington Post By Jason Millman The biggest battle in health care these days — besides the ongoing fight over Obamacare — is over the price of expensive life-saving medications. Specialty drug spending fueled a 13 percent increase in prescription drug spending last year, the largest annual increase in the past decade, according to a report this week from pharmacy ...
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It’s time to legalize importation at the federal level
Maine’s law permitting personal prescription drug importation was overturned last week by a judge who says the federal ban on importation supersedes state law. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) called the decision a “victory for patients.” Amy from Maine left a testimonial on our website that counters that sentiment: “As someone who was told ...
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New Report: Online Pharmacies, Personal Drug Importation and Public Health
PharmacyChecker.com just released an extensive and well documented report “Online Pharmacies, Personal Drug Importation and Public Health: Ill-Considered Enforcement Prevents Access to Safe and Affordable Medication” that seeks to set the public record straight on safe Internet pharmacies and how they serve as a lifeline for those struggling to afford their medication. It’s a weighty ...
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RxRights goes to Washington
Early this month, Lee Graczyk, our lead organizer, was invited to speak at a National Retiree Legislative Network (NLRN) conference in Washington, DC. While there, he also took the opportunity to schedule appointments with policy makers to share RxRights’ message about the need for continued access to affordable medicine. We thought you might like to ...
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President’s budget aims to control Medicare drug prices
President Obama released his budget proposal last week. We were pleased to see it contains a number of measures related to controlling drug prices, particularly for Medicare enrollees. Medicare already makes up about 15 percent of the federal budget. The advent of astronomically priced specialty drugs like Sovaldi, a $1000 pill to treat hepatitis C, threatens ...
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New NABP report, more of the same scare tactics
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy has come out with yet another progress report on their Internet Drug Outlet Identification Program. In it, they justify their control over the .pharmacy Top-Level Domain (TLD) and contend it’s a “public health initiative to help consumers distinguish legitimate online pharmacies from rogue online drug sellers.” In reality, they’re ...
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Maine patient caught in the middle of importation legislation
Maine was the first state in the country to enact legislation legalizing personal drug importation, back in October 2013. Maine’s “Act to Facilitate the Personal Importation of Prescription Drugs From International Mail-Order Pharmacies” allows residents to import medication from Canada, the UK, New Zealand, and Australia. The law has been in place for a year and ...
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Fewer Americans reporting financial barriers to health care
We haven’t had much good news involving American access to affordable medicine lately. Generic drug prices have been spiking, specialty med prices are out of control and the right to import prescription drugs remains in jeopardy. That’s why we were pleasantly surprised by the findings of a new Commonwealth Fund report, which seems to indicate ...
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Why drugs cost so much
By Peter B. Bach The New York Times ELI LILLY charges more than $13,000 a month for Cyramza, the newest drug to treat stomach cancer. The latest medicine for lung cancer, Novartis’s Zykadia, costs almost $14,000 a month. Amgen’s Blincyto, for leukemia, will cost $64,000 a month. Why? Drug manufacturers blame high prices on the complexity of biology, ...
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Our most popular content of 2014
As a part of reflecting back on the year, we’ve been gathering some statistics that may interest you. We want to be sure we’re providing you with relevant information. Please let us know in the comments section below what type of stories you’re interested in seeing from RxRights in 2015. According to our website and social ...
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Senators John McCain and Amy Klobuchar reintroduce the Safe and Affordable drugs from Canada Act
Congressional Documents and Publications Thursday, January 8, 2015 Contact: Brian Rogers or Julie Tarallo (202) 224-7130 Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) today reintroduced the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act, bipartisan legislation that would allow individuals to safely import prescription drugs from Canada, creating major savings for consumers and bringing ...
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RxRights year in review 2014
It’s hard to believe that another year has come to a close. At RxRights, we consider the year’s end as an opportunity to reflect back and take stock of our accomplishments and lessons learned, and begin constructing a plan for the future. We’ve seen some tremendous growth in 2014. Our mailing list surged from 59,453 to ...
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Sen. Amy Klobuchar: How the drug companies play Scrooge
Star Tribune By Senator Amy Klobuchar With the holiday season upon us, I decided I need a new way to make my case for bringing down the prices Americans pay for their prescription drugs. This year I’m going with Dickens. I mean, if Ebenezer Scrooge can be transformed from a crotchety, thoughtless, “bah humbug” miser to a ...
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Big Pharma: 8 Reasons We Need to Talk About the Pharmaceutical Industry
Novara Wire By Nick Carpenter The pharmaceutical market is the second most profitable in the world. It’s a $1 trillion industry which produces the medicines many of us take every day and undertakes or funds most of the scientific research into health today. Given that, we might ask: whose interests is it working in? Read more
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Personal stories about generic drug price hikes made an impact
Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Elijah Cummings held a Congressional hearing on November 20 regarding the recent, troubling spike in generic prices. In preparation for the hearing, their staff asked RxRights to gather personal stories from those affected by generic drug price hikes. Thank you to those of you who took the time to submit ...
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Pharma spends more on marketing than R&D
Why do prescription drugs cost so much? Ask the pharmaceutical industry and they’ll point to their need to make a profit for shareholders. Or to their colossal research and development costs. Or lately, they’ll blame it on insurance companies. Shifting the blame is a key tactic they have used in justifying the status quo. That’s why ...
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Consider a donation to RxRights for #GivingTuesday
The Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping madness have subsided. Today is #GivingTuesday, a global day geared towards giving back to causes you believe in. On #GivingTuesday, we’re asking you to consider pitching in. In nearly every Congress for the past 20 years, legislation to allow Americans to import prescription drugs from Canada has been introduced ...
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Hearing highlights the problem of skyrocketing generic drug prices
Last week’s Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging hearing on the recent alarming increases in generic drug prices was a step in the right direction. It’s critical to draw the attention of our policy makers to this issue. We commend Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Elijah Cummings for spearheading this effort and investigating the problem. Senator ...
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Drug Bust: For 30 years, generic medications helped make health care cheaper. Why is their cost surging?
Slate By Jeremy Green Earlier this fall, a gathering of Washington politicians and wonks celebrated the birthday of a piece of paper: the Price Competition and Patent Extension Act of 1984, also known as the Hatch–Waxman Act. When the bill was signed into law 30 years ago, it streamlined the approval processfor bioequivalent generic drugs as soon as ...
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Subcommittee hearing – Why are some generic drugs skyrocketing in price?
The Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging held a hearing on November 20, 2014 regarding skyrocketing generic drug prices. RxRights submitted 188 stories from our supporters for the hearing. A recording of the hearing and written testimony is available on the Subcommittee website.
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Congressional hearing on generic drug price spikes
Have your generic drug prices gone up lately? If so, we’d like to hear about it. As Lee Graczyk mentions in an opinion piece that ran yesterday in The Hill’s Congress blog, generic drugs have long offered cash-strapped patients a viable alternative. But a recent analysis found that half of all generic drugs rose in price during ...
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Americans can’t afford U.S. medication, need a safe alternative
This opinion piece was originally published on The Hill’s Congress blog, November 12, 2014 Prescription drug prices have reached record levels, putting Americans at risk. U.S. citizens have long had to cope with excessive brand name drug prices and more and more can’t rely on generic drugs being affordable—as generic prices have been spiking dramatically. Increasingly, ...
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The top 18 pharma-backed candidates who won on election night
BioPharma Dive By Sy Mukherjee The Republican party strengthened its hold on the U.S. House of Representatives and took control of the U.S. Senate during Tuesday night’s midterm elections. While some of the races have yet to be declared, the GOP will control at least 52 of the 100 Senate seats and 243 out of 435 ...
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Go to the polls and vote
As a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, RxRights can’t endorse candidates or tell you who to vote for. But if you believe (as we do) that access to affordable medicine is a crucial issue, we can point you to some information that might help you evaluate the candidates. Open Secrets is a great resource. The website was ...
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Your 24,349-signature petition had an impact
You might recall us asking you to sign a petition a while back opposing the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) bid to control the .pharmacy domain. Thank you to all who supported this effort. We gathered a total of 24,349 signatures! Lee Graczyk, lead organizer for RxRights, recently traveled to Los Angeles to ...
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Poll shows Americans putting health at risk to cope with high prescription drug prices
A September Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs poll found that the high cost of medicine compels Americans to take unnecessary health risks and forces families to make impossible choices, such as having to decide whether to buy medication or groceries. Generic drugs have long provided an alternative for cash-strapped consumers. But a recent analysis published by ...
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Some online pharmacies are safe
We are troubled by the scare tactics used in a recent post on Congress Blog by Jim Dahl, a board member from the group Partnership for Safe Medicine, titled “Stopping the spread of counterfeit drugs and illegal Internet pharmacies.” While it’s true that consumers need to use caution when choosing an online pharmacy, there ARE ...
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The Cost of Cancer Drugs
60 Minutes October 5, 2014 Lesley Stahl discovers the shock and anxiety of a cancer diagnosis can be followed by a second jolt: the astronomical price of cancer drugs. See a transcript of the show.
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Database shows $3.5 billion in industry ties to doctors, hospitals
By Chad Terhune, Noam N. Levey, Sandra Poindexter Los Angeles Times Pulling the curtain back on long-hidden industry relationships, the federal government revealed that U.S. doctors and teaching hospitals had $3.5 billion worth of financial ties with drug and medical-device makers in the last five months of 2013. The details published Tuesday in a new government database have ...
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This election season, bring attention to the need for access to affordable medicine
Election season is the perfect opportunity to have your voice heard. The candidates are out there campaigning and listening to constituents. Will you help us bring attention to the need for access to affordable medicine? Together, we can find out where the candidates stand on the issue. Back in 2005, Dr. Peter Rost, a former Pfizer ...
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Our Response to: A Drug Mule for the Medicare Set
An article about drug importation from Canada appeared in the New York Times last week. Interestingly, it wasn’t in the health or finance section, it appeared in the “fashion & style” section. We were pleased to see this subject getting some attention in popular media and decided to submit a letter to the editor to ...
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Pets deserve affordable medicine too
As you probably know, we have a dedicated space on our website where Americans who struggle to afford their prescription drugs can tell their stories. Many of these people import their needed medications from legitimate international online pharmacies saving a great deal of money. Every now and then, we get compelling messages (see below) from folks ...
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Why an open Internet is critical for consumers
We believe that all Americans benefit from an Internet that is accessible and open to all. That’s why we’re participating in an Internet action on September 10 to raise awareness about the fight for net neutrality. Wikipedia defines net neutrality as: “the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet ...
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Reining in health care costs
According to a new government report, the U.S. spent about $3 trillion on healthcare in 2013. It’s predicted that spending will be gradual in the next decade, but it’s still alarming to see how much of our total economy is devoted to healthcare (over 17 percent) considering the number of Americans who struggle to pay ...
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One Drug. Two Prices. A Reporter Struggles to Find Out the Cost of His Son’s Prescription
ProPublica By Charles Ornstein It’s not easy being an educated health care consumer. I was reminded of this when I went to refill a prescription this month for an asthma and allergy medication for my 9-month-old son, Holden. The first time I filled his prescription for Montelukast granules — the generic version of Singulair from Merck — my insurance ...
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EasyDNS Tries To Balance Bogus Requests To Take Down Legit Foreign Online Pharmacies Against Truly Rogue Pharmacies
As we mentioned last week, domain registrar easyDNS was getting pressure from the FDA to shut down a pharmacy website. In the end, easyDNS took the site down and then modified its policy on such matters in a way that is favorable to consumers who depend on access to safe and affordable imported prescription drugs. ...
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easyDNS stands up for legit pharmacy domains, affordable meds
There have been some interesting developments regarding the take down of online pharmacy domains lately. Over the weekend, the FDA asked easyDNS, a website registrar, to take a pharmacy website down based on reports that someone died after ordering a controlled substance from the site. We consider this an appropriate response due to the graveness of ...
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Senators stand up for affordable medicine
We’ve been rallying our base of supporters in the last months to make some noise to help counter the FDA’s proposed rule to allow for the seizure and destruction of personally imported medicine. Thank you for to those who have taken action! You have sent letters to newspapers, senators, and other government officials—and your efforts ...
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Prescription Drug Costs and the Specter of Rationing
Hospitals & Health Networks By Emily Friedman Several years ago, during a contract dispute between professional athletes and team owners (it involved baseball, basketball or football — it’s difficult to keep these conflicts straight), a sports broadcaster noted the widespread public apathy about the situation and commented, “I guess not that many people are interested in ...
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PhRMA CEO tries to defend Sovaldi’s exorbitant price
The pharmaceutical industry has been facing much criticism in the press lately, not just from patients but from legislators, doctors, and the insurance industry too. Although specialty drug prices have been a concern for some time, the new uproar relates to one specific drug—Sovaldi. A 12-week course of treatment in the U.S. for Gilead’s new ...
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Truth in reporting about prescription drugs bought online
It came to our attention recently, that Marjorie Clifton, the executive director of the not-for-profit Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies was playing pretty fast and loose with a statistic regarding alleged deaths from prescription drugs bought online. We felt obliged to comment on the article and clarify the statistic. Here’s Lee Graczyk’s comment: In response to The ...
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Drugs and Dollars
The Commonwealth Fund Blog By David Blumenthal, M.D. and David Squires Even with the relentless spotlight on the Affordable Care Act, a new health issue is edging toward center stage: drug costs. The poster drug for this controversy is Sovaldi, a dramatically effective and extraordinarily expensive new agent for treating hepatitis C, which causes chronic liver infection. ...
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Are drug companies using safety rules to block generic competition?
PBS Newshour By Megan Thompson A new study claims pharmaceutical companies may be misusing FDA safety guidelines to block generic drugs from market, costing the health care system more than $5 billion dollars a year. The FDA requires that pharmaceutical companies develop Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies, or REMS, to ensure the safety of higher-risk products. In some ...
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RxRights comments on proposed FDA rule
A few weeks ago, we made a public comment on a proposed FDA rule that jeopardizes access to affordable medicine. The rule pertains to section 708 of the FDA Safety and Innovation Act (S. 3187) and would give government officials the authority to destroy an imported drug valued at $2,500 or less. Our comment, as ...
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What does the rising cost of immunizations mean for public health?
Vaccines are a critical, preventative component of public health. For decades, their near-compulsory use in infants and school-aged children has ensured that younger generations of Americans won’t contract and spread serious and even deadly diseases. Vaccines have traditionally been cheap and ubiquitous, but as a shocking New York Times story illustrates, this is no longer ...
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Rapid Price Increases for Some Generic Drugs Catch Users by Surprise
New York Times By Elisabeth Rosenthal The first sign of trouble came when Dr. Barry Lindenberg, a cardiologist, received a three-page insurance form in January, demanding he get preapproval to prescribe one of the oldest known heart medicines. His patient had been on the drug, digoxin, for many years. A mainstay of treating older patients with rapid rhythm ...
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New bill would allow importation from Canada
Your actions to counter the FDA rules regarding Section 708 of Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) are gaining traction. As you may know, the rule would enable government officials to seize and destroy safe imported medicine. We recently wrote about Senator Vitter’s amendment to eliminate funding for enforcement of this rule—which would ...
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New FDA Rule Weighs Heavily on Americans Struggling to Afford Medicine
The FDA has proposed a new rule that would allow them to seize and destroy medications imported for personal use from outside of the United States. Consumer and aging rights groups are expressing alarm that the rule will endanger public health. The proposed rule pertains to section 708 of the FDA Safety and Innovation Act (S. ...
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Vitter amendment would prevent implementation of harmful FDA rule
We’re pleased to report that Senator Vitter (R-LA) has offered an amendment to the fiscal year 2015 Agriculture Appropriations bill that would prevent implementation of the FDA’s regulation to destroy safe imported medicine! With Independence Day coming up, it’s unclear when the amendment will come up for a vote, but we wanted to keep our ...
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Tell the Secretary of HHS: don’t destroy safe imported medicine!
Can you imagine living in a country where people die, not because treatment isn’t available, but because they can’t afford the high price of medicine? Unfortunately, that alarming future America may be imminent. That’s why we need your help. As you may know from our previous communications, the FDA is moving forward with a plan to ...
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Food Or Medicine: How To Have Both
Yankton Daily Press and Dakotan By Michael Roizen, M.D., and Mehmet Oz, M.D. More than one in three Americans has a chronic health condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure or arthritis (by age 65, it’s 95 percent) and 33 percent of you (around 44 million) face a stark financial choice: food or medicine. That’s the ...
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Abusive specialty drug pricing threatens healthcare system
The Hill By John Rother There are few greater economic challenges facing American families and taxpayers than the high cost of healthcare.  High health costs result in lower incomes, higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs, fewer jobs, higher taxes and deficits, and fewer available resources for important private and public investments. And if you are looking for an ...
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FDA wants to seize and destroy imported Rx drugs
The FDA wants to eliminate your ability to import safe and affordable prescription drugs. They have proposed new rules that would give them the right to seize and destroy imported medicine. The proposed rules pertain to section 708 of the FDA Safety and Innovation Act (S. 3187). More about section 708. The rules would give government ...
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Patients cross borders for online deals on medications
CNBC By Dan Mangan When “Bill” learned three years ago that a medication normally used to treat multiple sclerosis patients might help save his remaining good eye from macular degeneration, he was eager to try it. But Bill was surprised to learn that the drug, Copaxone, would cost up to $11,000 per year from a pharmacy in ...
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RxRights letter to the editor of the Portland Press Herald
Lee Graczyk submitted a letter to the editor of the Portland Press Herald today in response to a recent article regarding the lawsuit against Maine’s law to allow citizens to import prescription drugs. We’re not sure if it will be published but wanted to share it with our readers. I’m writing on behalf of RxRights, a ...
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What can consumers do about drug price spikes?
A flurry of recent news stories tells the tale of shocking price disparities for the same medication at different pharmacies. The media have been covering price jumps in both generics and brand name drugs. We’ve seen stories from Oklahoma, Minnesota, Texas and Missouri, which illustrates that this isn’t an isolated problem. It appears as though ...
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Need help paying for meds? Check out these resources.
If you are like millions of Americans, you (or someone you know) struggle to pay for needed medications. Every day, we hear from people who can’t afford the high price of U.S. prescription drugs. Often we point those individuals to legitimate international online pharmacies—and many are able to find dramatic savings from Canada and abroad. ...
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Maine’s drug importation law does not endorse online pharmacies. Should it?
Bangor Daily News By Gabriel Levitt When you think about Americans ordering medication online from foreign countries, not just Canada, I want you to consider the following: 50 million Americans did not fill a prescription in 2012 due to cost. The online hunt for meds is not just about getting cheap Viagra without a prescription but obtaining ...
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Proposed rules for destruction of imported medicine released
The proposed rules regarding section 708 of the FDA Safety and Innovation Act (S. 3187) have been released. This new regulation involves the seizure and destruction of imported medicines valued at $2500 or less, which puts importation from legitimate online pharmacies in serious jeopardy. Find out more about section 708. We’re posting a link to the ...
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Consumers deserve accurate info about international online pharmacies
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) has issued yet another report regarding how online pharmacies pose a threat to public health. At the risk of repeating ourselves, we agree that something needs to be done about the real harm that rogue online pharmacies present. But the fact remains: not all international online pharmacies ...
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Sen. Sanders supports importation
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont was in Minneapolis, Minnesota last weekend. Bob Hines, Mature Voices Minnesota board chair, spoke to the Senator about prescription drug importation. We’re pleased to report that Sen. Sanders reaffirmed his longtime support for importation. It’s nice to know we have some support in Congress that never waivers.  
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RxRights petition garners 21,000+ signatures!
We’re pleased to report that our petition opposing the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s bid to control .pharmacy (an industry-specific Internet domain) has now reached 21,136 signatures! Thank you to all who took the time to add their names to the petition! We have you to thank for this success—we couldn’t have done it without ...
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RxRights survey – 2014
RxRights has experienced phenomenal growth in the past year. In fact, we more than tripled our email list! In an effort to better understand our supporters, we have developed a brief survey. Won’t you take 5 minutes out of your day to respond? Please note: your responses will be anonymous unless you choose to submit your contact ...
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U.S. healthcare usage and spending resumes rise in 2013: report
Reuters By Bill Berkrot Americans used more health services and spent more on prescription drugs in 2013, reversing a recent trend, though greater use of cheaper generic drugs helped control spending, according to a report issued on Tuesday by a leading healthcare information company. Read more
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Second drug spending report predicts double-digit increases coming
FiercePharma By Eric Palmer In case anyone missed the latest forecast, drug prices were up last year and are going to continue to grow, perhaps at double-digit rates in some cases. The outlook comes from the second pharmacy benefits management report to be released in three days, this one from CVS Caremark ($CVS) following Express Scripts’ ...
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Rules for the destruction of imported medicine to be released soon
There are a number of obstacles Americans will face this year related to access to affordable medicine. One of the most troublesome involves Section 708, a portion of the FDA Safety and Innovation Act (S. 3187) passed in 2012. Section 708 requires the Secretary of Health Human Services (HHS) to establish rules regarding the seizure and destruction of ...
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Scare Tactics Over Foreign Drugs
New York Times Op-Ed by Gabriel Levitt VP of PharmacyChecker.com ABOUT five million Americans buy medication internationally each year because of high costs in the United States. These drugs are considered “foreign unapproved drugs” by the Food and Drug Administration, and federal law makes it illegal to buy them. Generally, though, purchases go through without a hitch. ...
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Hearing on counterfeit drugs sparks RxRights action
We at RxRights have been concerned regarding testimony and discussion at a recent House subcommittee hearing entitled “Counterfeit Drugs: Fighting Illegal Supply Chains.” And we decided it was time to speak up. We sent a letter to Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA), chairman of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. We also copied ...
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Healthier Patients May Have To Wait For Costly Hepatitis C Drugs
Shots: Health News from NPR By Julia Appleby Expensive new drugs for hepatitis C may work better than older treatments, but their high cost undermines their value, a panel of experts said Monday during a daylong forum in San Francisco. “The price makes it very hard for the health care system,” said Steve Pearson, who oversaw the ...
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Do drug benefit managers reduce health costs?
USA Today By Jayne O’Donnell While all the cutting goes on in health care, one of the biggest and least understood players is getting bigger and richer. Pharmacy benefit managers, which include CVS Caremark and Express Scripts, are little known to consumers except as names on the drug cards in our wallets. The roles of PBMs have expanded ...
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Obstacles to your access to safe, affordable medicine in 2014
This year is rapidly shaping up to be what may be one of the most challenging years in our struggle to ensure that Americans have access to sources of safe, affordable medicine. The ability to continue to buy safe, affordable prescription drugs from reputable and licensed pharmacies outside the U.S. is in particular jeopardy. The following ...
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Understanding Insulin Sticker-Shock
Insulin Nation By Craig Idlebrook Mary Clark, a realtor in Cincinnati, has grown accustomed recently to being the center of attention at the pharmacy. An independent contractor, Clark has had trouble finding affordable health insurance that covers the costs of the insulin she needs to control her Type 1 diabetes. Since 2012, she’s noticed the price she ...
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Pharma moving towards data transparency
Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has initiated a criminal probe against Novartis in relation to its marketing of valsartan, a drug used to treat high blood pressure. Apparently, a Novartis employee was involved in clinical trials of the drug without disclosing the company affiliation. Further scrutiny has demonstrated that trial data was manipulated ...
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Drug smugglers have a new cargo: cheap prescription meds from Mexico
PBS Newshour By Lorne Matalon, Fronteras MARFA, Texas — In borderland Texas, a widespread lack of health insurance is linked to poverty and high rates of diseases such as diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. Cheaper prescription drugs to treat these conditions are available across the border in Mexico. But physicians and law enforcement are tracking a relatively ...
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Drugs for the poor, drugs for the rich—why the current research and development model doesn’t deliver
British Medical Journal group blogs By Manica Balasegaram, Médecins Sans Frontières This past month has seen the reputation of “Big Pharma” dented more than usual. The CEO of German pharmaceutical company Bayer, Marijn Dekkers, was reported as saying that the company didn’t develop a cancer drug for the Indian market, but rather “for Western patients who can ...
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Lawsuit alleges drug maker preyed on cancer patients
Another week, another lawsuit filed against big pharma. Details of a whistleblower complaint initially filed in 2007 against Celgene were released last week. The suit alleges that the company aggressively marketed the drugs Thalomid and Revlimid for unapproved uses, gave doctors kickbacks for prescribing the meds, and knowingly concealed significant drug risks. The suit was filed ...
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Why do Americans spend so much on pharmaceuticals?
By Valerie Paris, OECD The United States spends almost $1,000 per person per year on pharmaceuticals. That’s around 40 percent more than the next highest spender, Canada, and more than twice as much as than countries like France and Germany spend. So why does the U.S. spend so much? Is it because Americans take more medicines ...
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Should Prescription Drugs Be Advertised Directly to Consumers?
Procon.org The US and New Zealand are the only two countries where direct to consumer (DTC) advertising of prescription drugs is legal. In the US, these ads are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that they are not false or misleading. Many research organizations and pharmaceutical industry groups contend that the ads are ...
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Drug Costs Are Spiking and It’s Not Clear Why
National Journal By Clare Ritger Drug costs are rising, but in the opaque world of health care pricing, figuring out what’s driving the increase has become difficult—if not impossible. Nonetheless, pharmacists want Congress to try. Vexed by triple- or quadruple-digit percent increases in drug costs, the National Community Pharmacists Association is asking lawmakers to hold a hearing to ...
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Internet censorship will harm Americans in need of affordable meds
RxRights initiated a petition back in June regarding our opposition to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) bid to control .pharmacy—a new, industry-specific Internet domain. We continue to gather signatures. You may have noticed that we haven’t had much to report on this topic lately as we wait for the group in charge ...
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International Online Pharmacy Report for 2013: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
By Gabriel Levitt PharmacyChecker.com This article summarizes good things and bad that are happening online with drug prices and savings, economics, legislation, politics, and even ethics that relate to access by Americans to more affordable medication offered by safe international online pharmacies. If you’re a consumer – especially an American consumer facing high drug costs – you ...
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Our stance on the latest personal importation legislation
Late last year, a new bill was introduced that would legalize personal drug importation. Some of you may be wondering why we haven’t mentioned this bill in our blog or social media posts. Over the past several months, we worked with the author on language for the bill. But ultimately, we decided not to back ...
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RxRights Year in Review – 2013
A new year brings with it opportunity. At RxRights, we like to use the beginning of a new year to reflect. We have been revisiting our 2013 accomplishments and would like to share them with you. We’ll also be working to identify areas for improvement for the year ahead. As always, feel free to contact ...
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Study Confirms Online Pharmacies Can Be Safe, More Affordable
Due to exorbitant drug prices in the U.S., record numbers of Americans are going without their needed medications. Over a million people find relief each year by buying their needed medications online from Canadian and other international online pharmacies. Yet, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, the FDA, and much of the popular press ...
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Ins, outs of getting meds from overseas
The Inquirer By Paul Jablow Buying prescription drugs overseas is back on the national agenda. Maine recently allowed residents to buy drugs from pharmacies in Canada, England, New Zealand, and Australia, triggering a lawsuit from the pharmaceutical industry. And a bill introduced last month in Congress would let people buy drugs from countries with safety rules similar ...
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Will Americans Be Allowed To Import Prescription Drugs?
Forbes By Ed Silverman Just as the pharmaceutical industry feared, the notion of importing prescription drugs from other countries is gaining steam. The idea is certainly not new and, in fact, was widely debated several years ago before being successfully thwarted by the FDA and drug maker amid warnings that imports are not only illegal, but the ...
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The Dark Side Of Big Pharma
Forbes By Dr. Dale Archer Last week, British Big Pharma company GlaxoSmithKline GSK +0.86% (GSK) announced plans to dramatically reform the way it sells and  markets its drugs to doctors. For years now, drug makers have been operating on the dark side, financially incentivizing doctors and health care providers to promote their drugs, and compensating pharmaceutical sales ...
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Outrage at the Increasingly High Cost of Cancer Drugs
ABC News By Richard Besser Eleven of the 12 cancer drugs the Food and Drug Administration approved for fighting cancer in 2012 were priced at more than $100,000 per year, double the average annual household income, according to a report by the Journal of National Cancer Institute. Patricia Thomson, a married, working mother whose leukemia is in remission, ...
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Secret international trade deal good for corporations, not consumers
A pending international treaty could have a huge impact on Internet freedom as well as copyright and patent laws. Yet, most Americans have never even heard of it. The text of this agreement is not publicly available—in fact, our Congress is not even privy to its contents. We are particularly concerned about this treaty because ...
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D-Day for Eli Lilly: Generic foes arrive for $5B antidepressant Cymbalta
FiercePharma By Tracy Staton Cymbalta is going down. The question for Eli Lilly is how fast and how far. Last evening, the FDA approved more than a half-dozen generic versions of Cymbalta, the antidepressant that’s now Lilly’s ($LLY) top-selling drug. A $5 billion-a-year powerhouse, Cymbalta has stepped up over the past couple of years to help Lilly weather ...
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Pharma’s Legal Hypocrisy Defending High Drug Prices
PharmacyChecker.com blog By Gabriel Levitt & Sam Werbalowsky A recent blog post on Philly.com by pharmaceutical industry expert Daniel Hoffman, Ph.D., exposes the hypocrisy of pharma’s addictions to high U.S. drug prices and deceptive marketing. Dr. Hoffman asserts that because the pharmaceutical industry is doing a bad job at generating revenues with new and innovative medications, and ...
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If Drug Prices Were Lower, Maine Would Not Need A Law: Wellman Explains
Earlier this year, Maine passed a law that allows its citizens to purchase prescription medications from a Canadian broker that deals with licensed retail pharmacies in Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
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Handful of docs responsible for millions in excessive Medicare spending
With the federal deficit and the Affordable Care Act, health care spending has been under a microscope lately. We at RxRights welcome this renewed scrutiny regarding where our health dollars go. Still, it’s somewhat surprising how regularly instances of serious waste are uncovered. Last week, the investigative journalism group ProPublica released a surprising analysis. Their ...
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Are Drug Affordability Problems Greater In America Than Elsewhere?
The answer is yes. Out of eleven developed countries, America is #1 when it comes to high drug prices preventing people from taking needed medications, according to a new international survey conducted by the Commonwealth Fund and reported on in Health Affairs
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How a drug for few patients was turned into $81 million in sales
Best known in the popular imagination as a poisonous murder weapon — “inheritance powder,” it was once called — arsenic also has a storied history of therapeutic use, embraced by healers in China for more than two millennia. Thirteen years ago, science caught up to folklore: A small Seattle biotech announced that it had turned the ...
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NABP report lumps real and rogue pharmacies together
Rogue websites that sell fake and counterfeit prescription drugs are a problem. They jeopardize public health and give legitimate sites providing Americans with authentic, affordable medicines a bad rep. It is in everyone’s interest to eliminate these phonies. But the recent National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) report on Internet pharmacies once again goes too ...
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US patients again look to Canada in quest for affordable medication
Aljazeera America By Elijah Wolfson November 7, 2013 Patricia Leahy — call her Pat — has a brain tumor. She’s lived with it for 40 years now and can even joke about it. Forget something? Must be the tumor. She can laugh because the tumor is benign and isn’t growing. But Leahy, 63, does have ongoing headaches and ...
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Generic drugs don’t necessarily mean low prices
PBS NewsHour NewsHour Weekend’s Megan Thompson reports on the surprising disparity in pricing for generic drugs. Generics, generally thought to be cheap, can actually vary widely in price from pharmacy to pharmacy, causing some to skip medications altogether. Read more
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The high cost of prescription drugs
The New York Times has been running a series of eye-opening articles about the high cost of health care in the U.S. that may resonate with our readers. The series, called “Paying Till it Hurts,” includes pieces that address the high cost of prescription drugs. We wanted to draw your attention to these compelling articles ...
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The rising price of insulin
Diabetes is a chronic disease that afflicts 25.8 million Americans. Insulin, one of the primary treatments for diabetes, has been around since the 1920s. Yet, somehow the drug is still priced beyond the reach of many Americans. One of our advocates recently left a comment on our Facebook page regarding this problem, which encouraged us ...
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Older Americans depend on Social Security, importation
You know Lee Graczyk as lead organizer of RxRights. But he also serves as director of Mature Voices Minnesota (MVM), a nonprofit group that works to ensure that older adults can live healthy, independent, affordable, and dignified lives in their communities. Early this week, Lee was invited to speak at a press conference held by ...
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As Drug Costs Rise, Bending the Law Is One Remedy
New York Times By Elisabeth Rosenthal Lee Higman, a 71-year-old artist from Bellevue, Idaho, who considers herself a law-abiding citizen, was shocked last month when she got a notice from the Food and Drug Administration telling her: “A mail shipment addressed to you from a foreign country is being held.” Read more
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If it can happen in Maine…
As you may know, a new law took effect in Maine last week that could have a much wider impact on prescription drug pricing. The “Act to Facilitate the Personal Importation of Prescription Drugs From International Mail-Order Pharmacies” allows Maine residents to import medicine from Canada, the UK, New Zealand, and Australia. We recently sent a ...
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The Soaring Cost of a Simple Breath
New York Times By Elisabeth Rosenthal OAKLAND, Calif. — The kitchen counter in the home of the Hayes family is scattered with the inhalers, sprays and bottles of pills that have allowed Hannah, 13, and her sister, Abby, 10, to excel at dance and gymnastics despite a horrific pollen season that has set off asthma attacks, leaving ...
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What Changes Can Older Americans Expect Under Health Reform?
PBS Newshour Kaiser Health News’s Mary Agnes Carey appeared on the PBS Newshour recently to answer questions from seniors uncertain of how the Affordable Care Act will affect older Americans and what changes are coming for Medicare recipients. Watch the video
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Will Americans Need International Online Pharmacies Under Obamacare?
From the PharmacyChecker.com blog By Gabriel Levitt and Sam Werbalowsky This past Monday, we reported that average savings from international online pharmacies are now 87% on popular brand name meds, up from 85% a year ago. As Americans gain access to health insurance through state exchanges under Obamacare, which kicked off yesterday, will there still be a ...
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Obamacare Fails To Address High Drug Prices
Mint Press News By Katie Rucke With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the price of prescription drugs, including generic ones, may not be as affordable as some Americans had anticipated or hoped. Though originally touted as a piece of legislation that would grant U.S. consumers access to safe and affordable drugs, heavy lobbying by Big Pharma ...
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David, Meet Goliath: Breaking pharma’s grip on our leaders
A new analysis by the Alliance for a Just Society shows how critical it is to break the stranglehold that big pharmaceutical companies have on Congress. “Bad Medicine: Pharmaceuticals’ Prescription for PROFITS over PEOPLE” details how the money and influence of Big Pharma have effectively immobilized Congress. From campaign contributions with strings attached to an army of ...
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Nonprofit brings researchers, pharma together to treat neglected diseases
Komonews.com By Rose Egge SEATTLE –A Seattle-based nonprofit is coordinating partnerships between medical researchers and pharmaceutical companies to address diseases that are typically neglected by drug developers. Read more
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As Trade Deal Nears End Game, Will Big Pharma Get to Limit Generic Access, Keep Brand-Name Prices High?
From the National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have been ongoing for several years and the Obama Administration is seeking to wrap up the 12-country deal by the end of 2013. While the agreed-to text of the TPP is secret, leaked negotiating offers and past experience with similar treaties ...
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Big Pharma wants to ban importation in Maine
Back in June, we reported about new legislation in Maine that gave consumers the right to import drugs for personal use from Australia, Canada, Northern Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom. We were thrilled with this precedent, but have to admit that since then, we’ve been waiting for Big Pharma to make their opposing ...
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Win for biotech companies, loss for American consumers
A controversial bill was passed in the California Senate last week that could influence future prescription drug affordability in the state and well beyond. The measure passed despite facing opposition from a number of powerful groups, like the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, AARP, and the California Association of Health Plans. Big biotech companies have been aggressively pushing ...
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Drugmakers And Pharmacists Sue Maine Over Importation Law
Pharmalot By Ed Silverman This was predictable. Three months after Maine enacted a law that allows its residents to purchase prescription drugs from mail-order pharmacies in Canada, the UK, New Zealand and Australia, the state is facing a lawsuit and a request for a preliminary injunction from trade groups for drugmakers and state pharmacists and retailers. The ...
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High Drug Prices Are Making Us Sick; Where Are Our Leaders?
Pharmalot Op-Ed by Gabriel Levitt As the national debate continues over health care costs, including prescription drugs, increasing attention is being paid to medication adherence, or the lack thereof. More people are reportedly eschewing their prescriptions or simply taking fewer meds and, sometimes, cost is cited as the reason. As a result, talk has turned yet again ...
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New law promotes transparency in doctor/drug company relationship
Last month, provisions of a new law went into effect that will shine a spotlight on the financial ties between doctors and drug companies. For years, drug companies have hired doctors to consult, give lectures, and conduct research, sometimes showering docs with money and extravagant gifts in exchange. With pharma’s kickbacks comes an expectation that docs ...
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Shame on CVS, patients deserve privacy
Loyalty cards for supermarkets and chain stores are ubiquitous these days. If you show your card at the checkout, you get a discount or receive coupons for future purchases. Most of us don’t give these cards a second thought. But did you ever stop to consider that each time your card is scanned, that company ...
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Idaho recovers $28M in drug pricing settlement
August 27, 2013Spokesman ReviewBy Betsy Z. Russell BOISE – Idaho has recovered more than $28 million from prescription drug makers who overcharged the state’s Medicaid program. Read more
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Pharmaceutical giant sues Canada over alleged lost profits
We all know that the pharmaceutical industry wields a considerable amount of power within the U.S. We’ve grown accustomed to the drug lobby’s ability to influence Congressional decisions. And the lengths that Big Pharma goes to in order to protect profits rarely surprise us anymore. But Eli Lilly’s move to sue the Canadian government for ...
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Florida company roots out pharma fraud
The unsustainable cost of health care in the United States is regularly blamed on factors like the growing generation of Baby Boomers, the uninsured, or malpractice lawsuits. But it’s clear from a recent Bloomberg story that an untold portion of sky-high health care expenses can be attributed to another reason entirely—fraud and corporate greed. Ven-A-Care, a ...
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U.S. Insulin Prices Rise as Sanofi, Novo Await Rivals
August 15, 2013 Bloomberg By Trista Kelley Sanofi (SAN) raised the U.S. price of its Lantus insulin for a second time this year and Novo Nordisk A/S (NOVOB) may follow suit before an onslaught of generics increases competition in the $35 billion diabetes market. Read more
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NABP continues miseducation about online pharmacies
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) issued another report late last month using their usual scare tactics in an attempt to convince American consumers that all online pharmacies are dangerous (unless vetted by VIPPS, their pharma-funded verification system). Their accompanying press release doesn’t give American consumers much credit. It paints them as naive and ...
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Big pharma fined again
By Lee GraczykLead OrganizerRxRights When I read this week about the latest pharmaceutical industry transgression and fine (Pfizer’s $491M settlement), I was reminded of the children’s iterative ditty, “The Song That Never Ends.” Written and composed by Norman Martin, the song is an infinite-loop motif that repeats the same verse over and over ad nauseaum—until even ...
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Pfizer Unit Admits Illegal Marketing in $491 Million Plea Deal
July 31, 2013Washington PostBy Jef Feeley A Pfizer Inc. unit will pay $491 million and plead guilty to a federal charge tied to its illegal marketing of the kidney transplant drug Rapamune for use in other organ transplants, U.S. prosecutors said. Pfizer’s Wyeth unit pleaded guilty to one count of misbranding the drug and agreed to pay ...
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Prescription drug prices and the new health care law
The Secretary of Health and Human Services announced this week that the 6.6 million people with Medicare coverage have saved over $7 billion on prescription drugs due to the new health care law—an average of $1000 per person. The Affordable Care Act (AKA the ACA or Obamacare) has been highly controversial, and while it’s still early ...
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PhRMA Is The Most Effective Lobbying Group In Washington DC?
July 25, 2013PharmalotBy Ed Silverman Drugmakers are apparently getting their money’s worth from the dues they pay to PhRMA, the industry trade group. A new survey of 456 policymakers in Washington, DC, ranks the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America as the best in four out of 15 important categories, suggesting the trade group is arguably ...
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Pharma Companies Must End Secret Gifts To Doctors Starting Next Month
July 19, 2013Popular ScienceBy Shaunacy Ferro Pharmaceutical and medical device companies make it rain on doctors, hospitals and even medical students on the regular. Members of the pharmaceutical industry promote their companies and drugs through things like free meals, travel compensation and all kinds of gifts, which studies have shown can affect the way doctors prescribe ...
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Pharma Companies Must End Secret Gifts To Doctors Starting Next Month
July 19, 2013Popular ScienceBy Shaunacy Ferro Pharmaceutical and medical device companies make it rain on doctors, hospitals and even medical students on the regular. Members of the pharmaceutical industry promote their companies and drugs through things like free meals, travel compensation and all kinds of gifts, which studies have shown can affect the way doctors prescribe ...
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Petition to oppose .pharmacy domain gathering steam
As our faithful readers already know, we recently started a petition to oppose the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s attempt to control a new Internet domain specifically designated for pharmacies. The NABP opposes personal drug importation and has a habit of lumping legitimate international online pharmacies together with rogue pharmacies. If granted authority over ...
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Maine legalized personal drug importation, which state is next?
Late last month, Maine became the first state in the U.S. to legalize personal drug importation from licensed international pharmacies. Maine’s House and Senate approved the bill, titled: “An Act To Facilitate the Personal Importation of Prescription Drugs from International Mail Order Prescription Pharmacies” with overwhelming, bipartisan support. Since Governor Paul LePage did not veto ...
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Pfizer’s Projected $3B Drug: Name Will Shock You
July 9, 2013ForbesBy Jeff Bailey By 2015, if all Pfizer’s marketing and distribution plans fall into place, the company should have a $3 billion blockbuster drug on its hands, bolstering its sales and bottom line at a time when patent expirations on existing blockbusters are decimating industry results. Read more
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Anatomy of a fake Canadian 0nline pharmacy
July 3, 2013PharmacyChecker BlogBy Gabriel Levitt For those of us looking online for safe and affordable medication, it’s very disconcerting to hear about the problem of fake Canadian online pharmacies, or any fake online pharmacy, and the myriad ways they can endanger your health, such as by sending counterfeit or substandard medication or engaging in identity ...
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Canadian drug imports should just be the start
Portland Press HeraldJuly 2, 2013 Thousands of Mainers again will be able to get their prescription medication at a discount now that some mail order pharmacies located outside the country can do business here. That had been the case until last summer, when then-Attorney General William Schneider ruled that the Canadian-based CanaRx was not licensed to ...
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Maine Becomes First State to Legalize Prescription Drug Importation
June 27, 2013PharmacyChecker.com Today, Maine became the first state to legalize the importation of prescription drugs by individuals, allowing its residents to reduce the cost of obtaining expensive prescription medications by as much as 90%. Read more
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RxRights launches petition opposing new pharmacy domain
RxRights has launched a petition to oppose the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s (NABP) bid to control .pharmacy—a new, industry-specific Internet domain. “A U.S.-based organization with such close ties to the pharmaceutical industry should not be allowed to dictate who gets to participate in this global portal to safe online medicine,” says Lee Graczyk, RxRights ...
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A victory for drug affordability in Maine
Updated 6/20/13 We’d like to share some exciting news from Maine. Last week the state’s legislature passed a bill to allow mail-order importation from international pharmacies. The bill, “An Act To Facilitate the Licensing of International Mail Order Prescription Pharmacies by the Maine Board of Pharmacy” (LD 171), negates a September 2012 ruling by Maine Attorney ...
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Supreme Court rules for generic drugs, against ‘pay for delay’
June 17, 2013, 9:52 a.m.Los Angeles TimesBy David G. Savage WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that brand-name drug makers can be sued for violating the antitrust laws if they make a deal that pays a potential competitor to put off selling a generic version. The 5-3 decision is likely to benefit consumers with lower prices. ...
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Beware of calls from fake DEA agents
We’ve gotten word that an old scam is rearing its ugly head again. For a number of years, scammers have been targeting people who purchase prescription drugs online. We wanted to warn our readers again about this fraudulent activity. Perpetrators of the scam pose as DEA agents. They call unsuspecting victims and threaten to arrest them ...
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Cleaveland: Prescription drugs can break bank
June 13, 2013Times Free Press By Clif Cleaveland When drug maker Novartis released its unique drug, Gleevec, in 2001, therapy cost each American patient $30,000 per year. Twelve years later, the cost has risen to $92,000 per year. Read more
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Accounts from Americans who can’t afford their prescriptions
The issue of drug affordability is not going away. If anything, we are seeing further evidence that this public health crisis is getting worse. Fifty million Americans aged 19-64 did not fill their prescriptions due to cost in 2012. Each day, we hear from Americans who can’t afford their medication. Some of them are older ...
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New Drugs Are Barely An Improvement Over Decades-Old Standbys, Study Finds
June 3, 2013ReutersBy Sharon Begley Despite the more than $50 billion that U.S. pharmaceutical companies have spent every year since the mid-2000s to discover new medications, drugmakers have barely improved on old standbys developed decades ago. Read more
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At Aetna, another example of screwy medical pricing
May 31, 2013Los Angeles TimesBy David Lazarus Consumers have been told by insurers again and again that if they want cheaper prices for prescription drugs, they need to order them in bulk from mail-order pharmacies. And typically, it works out that way. Sometimes, however, the prices reveal how screwy our healthcare system is — and what a ...
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What do prescription drug spending trends mean for the consumer?
Overall drug spending in the U.S. went down last year, according to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. In stark contrast, specialty drug spending went up 18 percent in 2012, according to Express Scripts. And this is only the beginning of the specialty drug price sticker shock. As reported by FiercePharma, specialty drug prices are forecast ...
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Americans can’t afford their medicine
There are plenty of statistics out there related to prescription drug prices and spending. One measure that has us particularly concerned is medication nonadherence. That is, when people simply stop taking their medication. When people don’t take their meds as prescribed, we know that it compounds their health problems. It results in additional trips to ...
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Breakup of Physician, Drug Company Relationship Could Improve Health Care, Cut Cost
May 20, 2013 ScienceDaily A new report suggests that improved health care and significant reductions in drug costs might be attained by breaking up the age-old relationship between physicians and drug company representatives who promote the newest, more costly and often unnecessary prescription drugs. Read more      
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The truth about legitimate Internet pharmacies
As part of our effort to protect American consumers’ right to safe, affordable prescription drugs, we’re compelled to clarify inaccurate information in a recent press release issued by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP): NABP’s Vision for .pharmacy Generic Top-Level Domain Provides a Secure Online Space for Pharmacy Consumers Around the World. We, too, ...
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Patent wars: has India taken on Big Pharma and won?
A game-changing ruling may force drug companies to put patients, rather than profits at the heart of its business model
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U.S. prescription drug spending drops for first time in 58 years
May 9, 2013CBSnews.com Americans spent less money on prescription drugs in 2012, the first time in almost six decades U.S. spending on prescription medication has dropped. Read more
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Washington man speaks out about access to affordable medicine
Elmer Brunk and his wife Cynthia saved $13,000 on their prescription drugs in 2012 by importing them from a legitimate Canadian online pharmacy. Elmer recently contacted RxRights because he wanted to share what they have learned with others. “I feel strongly that people need to be able to find affordable drugs and not have to ...
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We The People vs. The Pharmaceutical Industry
April 29, 2013ForbesBy Bernard Munos The pharma industry is in a pickle.  It is losing all its friends and handing over sticks to its enemies.  In the last few weeks:     Novartis lost a major patent dispute in India     Merck was denied an injunction against a generic Januvia     South Africa announced plans to tighten its patenting requirements ...
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Doctors Denounce Cancer Drug Prices of $100,000 a Year
April 25, 2013The New York TimesBy Andrew Pollack With the cost of some lifesaving cancer drugs exceeding $100,000 a year, more than 100 influential cancer specialists from around the world have taken the unusual step of banding together in hopes of persuading some leading pharmaceutical companies to bring prices down. Read more  
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Pharma continues to profit while Americans struggle
A recent analysis by Health Care for America Now indicates that the 11 biggest drug companies made a whopping $711 billion from 2002-2012. And Big Pharma profits got a 34 percent boost in 2006—the year that Medicare Part D was instituted. In addition, big pharmaceutical companies continue questionable tactics, such as pay for delay deals, ...
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Britain Accuses Drug Maker of Conspiring With Rivals
April 19, 2013The New York TimesBy Stephen Castle British antitrust authorities accused the pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline on Friday of paying three rivals to delay the introduction of a generic version of an antidepressant drug. It is the latest in a series of similar cases that are drawing scrutiny from regulators on both sides of the Atlantic. ...
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Take Action for Lower Drug Costs
Consumer Catalyst has launched a social media campaign to raise awareness about how sketchy ‘Pay-for-Delay’ deals hurt consumer health! Join the discussion on twitter and share your story, using the hashtag:Stop the #RxRacket! Read more
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Big Pharma Pockets $711 Billion in Profits by Robbing Seniors, Taxpayers
April 8, 2013Huffington PostBy Ethan Rome Here’s an outrage that must be changed: Big Pharma has been systematically price-gouging the Medicare program for seniors and people with disabilities — and raking in billions in excessive profits. The 11 largest global drug companies made an astonishing $711 billion in profits over the 10 years ending in 2012, ...
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Video testimonials from Americans who can’t afford U.S. drugs
You probably know that we’ve been collecting testimonials from people throughout the United States who are struggling to afford the high price of medication. To further illustrate our point, we wanted to create some video testimonials, to show that these are real people with real stories. Unfortunately, professional video production is expensive and we didn’t ...
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The facts about international online pharmacies
The facts about international online pharmacies
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Bioethicist: Drug makers should focus on affordability, not preserving patents
April, 4, 2013Vitals – NBCNEWS.comBy Art Caplan India’s top court ticked off Big Pharma this week when it denied a patent to the pharmaceutical giant Novartis on a modified version of its blockbuster cancer drug Glivec. Read more
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Manufacturing Consent: Pharma Lobbying Letter to Congress Lists Opponents as Supporters
April 5, 2013ForbesBy Rob Waters “Dear member of Congress,” begins the March 18 letter purportedly sent by various organizations across the country to U.S. legislators. The letter argues against a proposal to let the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary use the purchasing power of Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies for lower prices on prescription ...
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Do drugs really have to be so expensive?
March 28, 2013BBC NewsBy Michelle Childs A liver cancer treatment is off-limits in the NHS due to its unjustifiably high price tag, but in India the same treatment is available for less than £100 a month. In this week’s Scrubbing Up, Michelle Childs, of Medecins Sans Frontieres, questions why wealthy nations are not doing more to ...
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New pharmacy Internet domain could jeopardize drug importation
The Internet as we know it is about to undergo some big changes, which could negatively affect access to affordable medicine. We’re all familiar with the suffixes .com, .org and .net. For years, the Web has operated with a handful of such generic top-level domains (gTLD). But soon a whole host of new gTLDs will ...
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The taxpayer stake in drug discovery
The sluggish U.S. economy continues to limp along. And sequestration—with its cuts to programs that assist veterans, older adults and children—is beginning to compound the problem. Clearly, some out-of-the-box thinking is in order. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has a proposal: start cashing in on publicly funded research discoveries. Sen. Wyden recently wrote to the National ...
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Feds Target American (Not International) Pharmacies in Prescription Narcotic Crackdown
March 22, 2013PharmacyChecker.comBy Gabriel Levitt The ongoing federal government crackdown on U.S. pharmacy sales of narcotic prescription medications, most notably against Walgreens in Florida, serves to remind us that prescription drug abuse is a major health problem. But only a tiny fraction of illegal prescription narcotic sales take place online, less than 1% according to Agent Robert ...
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State Savings with an Efficient Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit
March 20, 2013Center for Economic and Policy ResearchBy Dean Baker and Nicole Woo Americans pay far higher prices for prescription drugs than do people in other wealthy countries. The reason that other countries spend so much less on drugs is that their governments negotiate prices with the pharmaceutical industry. The United States government could adopt the ...
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Maine Legislation Aims To Facilitate Personal Drug Importation To Lower Costs
March 15, 2013PharmacyChecker.com blogBy Gabriel Levitt and Sam Werbalowsky The personal drug importation saga continues in the State of Maine this this week as legislators consider a bill that would allow state residents to order prescription medication from foreign pharmacies. The bill follows in the wake of – and as a response to – Maine Attorney ...
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Prescription drug spending in 2012: the good, the bad and the ugly
Express Scripts released its yearly prescription drug trends report this week. The headlines we’ve seen emphasize the good news: spending on commonly used drugs—such as those used to treat high blood pressure and cholesterol—is down for the first time in 20 years. Now for the bad news: the gap between the price of generic and brand-name ...
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Lawmakers: A common-sense approach to reining in drug costs
March 5, 2013Portland Press HeraldBy Rep. Chellie Pingree and Sen. Angus King As small-business owners, we both learned long ago that negotiating a fair price is part of doing business. Unfortunately, it’s a lesson that has yet to be learned by the federal government when it comes to one of the single biggest ...
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Examining DTC prescription drug ads
While spending on direct-to-consumer (DTC) prescription drug advertising has declined in recent years, it still amounted to $2.7 billion last year. Companies with some of the biggest drugs on the market were the top spenders—which seems to indicate that the ads are working. DTC advertising includes TV and print ads, as well as billboards and radio. ...
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Inside medicine: High drug costs
February 28, 2013The Sacramento BeeBy Dr. Michael Wilkes We have a problem that no one seems willing to discuss. The costs of medications are going through the roof. Take for example cancer medicines. Let’s say we want to treat metastatic melanoma – a skin cancer. The cost of medication alone is $120,000 for four treatments, which might extend ...
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Medicare drug costs to fall in 2014, but donut hole widens
February 21, 2013ReutersBy Mark Miller Overall, enrollees can expect a year of flat or decreasing Medicare prescription drug costs, according to data released last week by the federal government. The government said Medicare’s per-beneficiary drug costs fell 4 percent last year. As a result, some of the most important numbers in the program’s 2014 Part D ...
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Legislative News – February 2013
It’s easy to be pessimistic when reflecting on the sluggish state of our economy, but with the new year comes renewed opportunities and new legislation aimed at expanding access to affordable medicine. In his State of the Union address, President Obama talked about reducing health care costs by …”changing the way that our government pays for ...
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RxRights: Consumers Need Relief from Rising Prescription Drug Prices
In response to news reports citing Bureau of Economic Analysis data that shows a 3.6 percent increase in prescription drug prices in 2012, Lee Graczyk, lead organizer of RxRights, issued the following statement: “Bureau of Economic Analysis data has confirmed the anecdotal evidence we’ve been hearing from consumers across the country: prescription drug ...
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OPINION: Big Pharma’s stranglehold on Washington
Drug companies have armies of lobbyists, and the rest of us are paying the price
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HHS report: Medicare prescription drug savings hit $5.7B
February 7, 2013USA TodayBy Kelly Kennedy Seniors have saved about $5.7 billion on prescription drugs since January 2011 because of provisions in the 2010 health care law meant to close the Medicare “doughnut hole,” the government plans to announce today. Read more
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Let The Sunshine In: CMS Releases Transparency Rule
February 1, 2013PharmalotBy Ed Silverman After 15 months of delay, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has finally released the long-awaited Sunshine Act rule, which establishes procedures for gathering and publishing data containing financial ties between physicians, teaching hospitals and drug and device makers, as well as group purchasing organizations. Read more
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Stop the Crony Capitalism that Increases Prescription Drug Costs
The New York Times recently broke the shocking news of how Congress gave $500 million to pharmaceutical giant Amgen by way of a last-minute clause in the “fiscal cliff” bill. The clause—quietly slipped in during a lame duck session of Congress—allows Amgen to sell its profitable kidney dialysis drug, Sensipar, for two more years without being ...
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Vermont Lawmaker Moves to Repeal Protection for Drug Maker
January 23, 2012The New York TimesBy Eric Lipton A Vermont lawmaker on Wednesday introduced legislation that would repeal language passed into law in early January that benefits a California-based biotechnology company, saying the deal “confirms the American public’s worst suspicions of how Congress operates.” Read more
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Want to make more money? Pay off the competition.
We all know that brand name prescription drugs cost more than generics. For brand names, Americans typically pay 85 percent more. But did you know that pharmaceutical bigwigs pay off their potential competitors to stall generic versions of branded drugs? This crooked tactic—dubbed “pay-to-delay”—allows big drug companies to squeeze as much profit out of their blockbuster ...
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US prescription drug spending rose 2.9% in 2011, says govt
January 15, 2013Pharma Times OnlineBy Lynne Taylor U.S. retail prescription drug spending grew 2.9% to $263 billion in 2011, compared with a rise of just 0.4% the year before, when the total had reached $255.7 billion, according to the latest government figures. Read more
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Under the influence of drug ads
We’ve all seen them. Ads for drugs that promise to improve your mood, your sleep, your sex life, or fix any number of other aspects of your health. They are slick and appealing. They show scenarios of carefree consumers living active and happy lives. Pharmaceutical companies spend obscene amounts of money on these ...
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Many doctors prescribe more-pricey drugs than needed, study finds
January 7, 2012Journal SentinelBy John Fauber More than a third of doctors said they prescribe brand name drugs simply because patients ask for them even when cheaper generics would be appropriate, according to a new study. Read more
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Questcor Finds Profits, at $28,000 a Vial
December 29, 2012The New York TimesBy Andrew Pollack THE doctor was dumbfounded: a drug that used to cost $50 was now selling for $28,000 for a 5-milliliter vial. The physician, Dr. Ladislas Lazaro IV, remembered occasionally prescribing this anti-inflammatory, named H.P. Acthar Gel, for gout back in the early 1990s. Then the drug seemed to fade from ...
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Bereavement, Depression & Happy Drugmakers
December 27, 2012PharmalotBy Ed Silverman In a move certain to create controversy, the American Psychiatric Association has voted to include bereavement in the definition of major depressive disorder, or MDD, that will be contained in the upcoming version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which will be known as the DSM-5, The Washington ...
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RxRights Year in Review – 2012
It’s been another busy year for us at RxRights. The year began with a tremendous legislative victory. By engaging millions of online activists—including RxRights’ supporters—January’s Internet blackout stopped swiftly moving, anti-piracy legislation that threatened prescription drug importation in its tracks. As a nonprofit group that understands the challenge of organizing on a grassroots level, we were ...
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Medicare: A Plan B for Part D
December 21, 2012Los Angeles TimesEditorial One of the most popular benefits of Medicare is the Part D prescription drug program, which enables seniors and the disabled to buy taxpayer-subsidized coverage for many of the most widely prescribed medicines. When it created the costly benefit in 2003, though, Congress provided no way to pay for the subsidies, ...
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Portland: Canadian drugs would save us millions
Maine AG William Schneider stopped the purchase of Canadian drugs because suppliers didn’t have Maine licenses. But Portland plans to fight the law, which costs the city $3.2 million per year.
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Will you help RxRights ramp up our organizing efforts?
Too many Americans are struggling to afford their prescription drugs. RxRights’ goal to protect access to sources of safe and affordable medicine has never been more critical, which is why we are asking our supporters for help.  As the year comes to a close, I want to reiterate how much your support matters. Thanks ...
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Justices to Take Up Generic Drug Case
December 7, 2012New York TimesBy Edward Wyatt The Supreme Court said on Friday that it would decide whether a pharmaceutical company should be allowed to pay a competitor millions of dollars to keep a generic copy of a best-selling drug off the market. Read more
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U.S. prescription costs rapidly outpacing American budgets
Last week Express Scripts reported that over a recent 12-month period, U.S. prices for commonly used brand named prescription drugs increased by 13.3 percent, six times the rate of inflation. One in five prescriptions sold is a brand name drug. The Express Scripts data confirms something that we already knew: too many Americans can’t afford their ...
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Why do people import prescription drugs?
We know that more than a million Americans each year import their needed medications from international pharmacies. But we don’t know much about these people. Who are they? And what are their reasons for choosing importation? We had some theories, but we needed some hard data to back them up. Numbers are more convincing than ...
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How Drug Company Money is Undermining Science
The pharmaceutical industry funnels money to prominent scientists who are doing research that affects its products—and nobody can stop it
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Add your story to the map, build support for Rx drug importation
We just launched a new webpage with a U.S. map that features these compelling testimonials. You can click on your state to see real stories from people in your area. Thanks to all of you who contributed! Be sure to visit the page and share it with others. The map illustrates the dire need for continued ...
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Obama’s re-elected. So what’s next for pharma?
November 8, 2012FiercePharmaBy Tracy Staton To call the 2012 election a referendum on Obamacare would be reductionist. But the Affordable Care Act’s survival is, no question, the most obvious and specific consequence of President Obama’s re-election, and the Democrats’ hold on a Senate majority. Yesterday, there was a possibility that a President Romney would start chipping ...
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It’s almost over
Another bruising election cycle is coming to a close. We at RxRights are relieved. We’re ready for the plethora of attack ads to be over, for the blue and red election antics to stop, for the ultimate debate to finally be won, and for the results to go quietly into the history books. No matter your political leanings, we can’t overemphasize how important ...
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Generic Viagra Industry Is Pro-Choice In Payments
October 26, 2012ForbesBy Jon Matonis Payment intervention is defined as the use of the payment mechanism to detect or prevent certain transactions that are deemed to be politically incorrect or against a particular jurisdiction’s law. The latest target is online pharmaceuticals and their affiliates providing medications such as generic or unlicensed Viagra, Nexium, or Lipitor, all ...
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Pharma vs India: a case of life or death for the world’s poor
New InternationalistBy Nick HarveyOctober 18, 2012 It’s a worrying time for the poor and the sick. Two cases brought to India’s courts by transnational pharmaceutical companies could massively effect whether people in the Global South can access life-saving medicines. The most significant of these involves Swiss drugmaker Novartis which was refused a patent ...
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Billions in penalties paid, yet pharma isn’t fazed
The pharmaceutical industry has been systematically defrauding the government—and consequently, American taxpayers. That’s the conclusion of a new report by consumer advocacy group Public Citizen. The group tallied the penalties paid by drug companies over the last couple of decades at $30 billion. In late 2010, Public Citizen released a related report that named the pharmaceutical ...
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RxforAmericanHealth urges FDA to extend ‘reciprocity’ in prescription drug manufacture to personal importation
RxforAmericanHealth BlogOctober 8, 2012 The publisher of www.TodaysSeniorsNetwork.com, America’s leading informational website for issues affecting an aging America, says that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should extend its recently enacted policy of reciprocity with other countries to improve the safety of prescription drug ingredients manufactured in those countries for export to the U.S  to personal ...
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Medication Costs The Number One Reason People Skip Meds, According to Pharmacists
PharmacyCheckerblog.comBy Sam WebalowskyOctober 11, 2012 A major U.S. pharmacy has finally said that high drug prices are the biggest barrier to medication adherence. A recent study from CVS Caremark revealed that 62% of pharmacists said high drug prices are the most common cause of prescription nonadherence (not taking your meds) among their patients. Ninety-one percent of ...
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Profit trumps potential
We recently learned about an existing drug called Metformin that shows tremendous promise for treating pancreatic and other forms of cancer. But big pharmaceutical companies aren’t interested in exploring its potential. The drug has been around since the late 1950’s and is widely prescribed for people with type 2 diabetes to help lower blood sugar. Studies ...
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New FDA campaign for safe online pharmacies misleads consumers
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a new educational campaign aimed at directing consumers towards safe online pharmacies called BeSafeRx. While we fully support the theory behind the effort, we find ourselves frustrated with the FDA once again for refusing to acknowledge that legitimate international online pharmacies exist. The campaign’s “Know the Signs” webpage ...
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RxRights demands access to safe & affordable medications, wants answers from presidential candidates
American senior citizens on fixed incomes, strapped for cash, often must choose between their medications and their mortgages
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Drug Coupons: A Good Deal For The Patient, But Not The Insurer
October 1, 2012Kaiser Health News/Washington PostBy David Schultz A magazine ad for the testosterone drug AndroGel shows a discount card that allows consumers to pay “as little as $10 per month” for the medicine. Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline announces in another magazine that it offers discount coupons for the popular inhaler Advair. And a TV commercial for Nexium ...
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More Americans forgo medicine, visits to doctor
Two new surveys by Consumer Reports found that an increasing number of Americans are making potentially dangerous health decisions. Some examples of unhealthy methods Americans are using to cope with the weak economy and out of control healthcare costs include: not filling prescriptions, skipping doses of medication, splitting pills without doctor approval, and putting off ...
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States seek savings from drug importation
Across the country, local governments are struggling to keep budgets in check despite ever-rising healthcare costs. Frustrated by the lack of help from the federal government, cities and states are searching for creative solutions to the problem. Some see personal drug importation from licensed international pharmacies as a solution. Last week brought some bad news for ...
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Pharma Behaving Badly
Multibillion-dollar settlements against big drug companies have become all too common in recent years. Here’s a rogues gallery of the worst offenders
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The prescription drug price tsunami
Americans pay more for prescription drugs than anyone else in the world. People in New Zealand pay about 34 percent of what we pay for commonly prescribed drugs. In 1999 Americans spent an average of $485 for prescription drugs. By 2009 this figure jumped to $956–that’s a 97 percent increase! Check out this informative infographic ...
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MT: Governor seeks pilot program for cheaper drugs for state employees
September 4, 2012Montana WatchdogBy Phil Drake Gov. Brian Schweitzer is asking the federal government to approve a five-year pilot program in Montana in which cheaper prescription drugs would be imported fromCanada and sold to state employees. Read more
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Survey closes Monday – please share your insight
As you may know, RxRights and Roger Bate of the American Enterprise Institute are working together on a survey that will shed some light on questions such as why people buy prescription drugs from international pharmacies. Thank you to those of you who have already participated in the survey! The survey closes next Monday and ...
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Petition help
Thank you to those of you who have signed petition to protect access to imported prescription drugs, especially to those who have persisted despite technical issues with the petition site! Still having trouble? We have posted some tips on our website. The petition closes on Friday. But we still need more than 17,000 signatures ...
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Online Pharmacy or Discount Card? The Choice Isn’t So Clear
August 23, 2012PharmacyChecker.com Prescription drug costs in the U.S. remain high, and consumers are constantly looking for ways to save. We recommend verified online pharmacies, such as those listed on PharmacyChecker.com. Read more
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Inform prescription drug policy through survey
RxRights is teaming up with Roger Bate of the American Enterprise Institute to shed some light on questions such as why people buy prescription drugs from international pharmacies. We have agreed to distribute and collect survey data from our supporters regarding this issue. In order for us to make the most effective use of the ...
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Consumer calls drug prices in America “Extortion”
Published August 8, 2012PharmacyChecker.comBy Mike M. I had a conversation with Gabriel Levitt from PharmacyChecker.com the other day, as I was in search of a Canadian Pharmacy that I could travel to and obtain affordable, needed, drugs. The reason for this “travel” was the recognition of the newest law (the new FDA bill) on the books ...
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What you need to know about the new FDA bill
Many of you have been contacting us with questions and concerns regarding the timeline for implementation of Section 708 of the FDA Safety and Innovation Act. The short answer is that we aren’t sure. We can tell you we don’t expect any action before the election—your prescription drug shipments should not immediately be affected. Rules must ...
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White House petition to protect access to affordable medicine
Section 708 of the new FDA Safety and Innovation Act (S. 3187) gives government agencies the authority to seize and destroy prescription drugs that are imported for personal use. We are calling on our supporters to let the Obama Administration know how you feel about this unfair regulation. This provision was clearly crafted by big drug companies ...
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Pharmaceutical companies putting health of world’s poor at risk
India makes cheap medicines for poor people around the world. The EU, pharmaceutical firms and now the US are pressuring the ‘pharmacy of the developing world’ to change tack
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Holy conflict of interest Batman!
Although it isn’t terribly shocking, it’s still disturbing that Senator Patrick Leahy, the ringleader for last year’s anti-piracy legislation, has a cameo in the new Batman blockbuster. Sen. Leahy, introduced the Protect IP Act last year. And even after millions of Americans spoke out against the legislation due to it’s threat to free speech and public ...
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Drug importation as an election issue
Clare Caldwell, our Florida field organizer, is working to raise access to affordable medication to the level of a serious campaign issue in Florida. We’re pleased to report that she had some success this week during a candidate forum in congressional district 19. “All it takes is someone to ask the question,” says Clare. The question ...
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Anemia drugs made billions, but at what cost?
July 20, 2012The Washington PostBy Peter Whoriskey On the day Jim Lenox got his last injection, the frail 54-year-old cancer patient was waiting to be discharged from the Baltimore Washington Medical Center. He’d put on his black leather coat. Then a nurse said he needed another dose of anemia drugs. His wife, Sherry, thought that seemed odd, ...
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FDA bill signed, importation in serious jeopardy
Despite our best efforts, Congress passed the FDA Safety and Innovation Act (S. 3187) with Section 708 intact. Earlier this week, President Obama signed the bill into law. Section 708 changes prescription drug importation as we know it. This new provision gives the government the authority to destroy personally imported drugs at their point of entry. For ...
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Letting Big Pharma Review Its Own Drugs — What Could Go Wrong?
July 11, 2012The AtlanticBy Shannon Brownlee & Joe Colucci When British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) agreed to pay $3 billion in criminal and civil fines for illegal marketing of several drugs and hiding safety from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it probably seemed to many people like fitting punishment. It’s the largest fine ever levied ...
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Minnesotans worry pending FDA bill prohibits imported prescription drugs
We were pleased to see some news coverage out of Minnesota yesterday that illustrates how individuals who depend on importation may be impacted by the legislation. The news video features Lee Graczyk, our lead organizer, and Rico Anderson a longtime RxRights supporter who imports his prescription drugs. Rico saves over $600 each month by ordering ...
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Seniors in Medicare doughnut hole skipping depression medication
July 6, 2012PharmacyChecker.com A new study, reviewed in Medpage Today, finds that seniors falling into the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage gap, often referred to as the “doughnut hole,” reduced the number of monthly anti-depressant prescriptions they filled by 12.1% compared to those with full coverage. In 2012, Part D plans share drug costs with ...
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GlaxoSmithKline to pay $3 billion healthcare fraud settlement, U.S. says
July 2, 2012Los Angeles TimesBy Tiffany Hsu Pharmaceutical drug maker GlaxoSmithKline will pay $3 billion and plead guilty to federal charges to resolve a slew of criminal and civil issues stemming from its use of kickbacks, mis-branding and other misconduct to market drugs such as Paxil, Wellbutrin and Advair, the U.S. government announced. Read more
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RxRights to White House: Don’t Cut off Americans’ Lifeline to Affordable Medications
Coalition urges White House to Veto FDA reauthorization bill due to provision eliminating personal importation of medicines
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Tell the President it’s time to stand up to Big Pharma!
On Monday, you answered our call to action in a nearly unprecedented manner. Within hours of our email, thousands of letters had been sent to senators all throughout the nation. Still, the Senate passed the final version of the FDA Safety and Innovation Act last night and it is headed to the President’s desk. We are ...
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Tell your senators: protect affordable drug importation before it’s too late!
Despite our best efforts, the House of Representatives passed the reworked FDA reauthorization bill (S. 3187/H.R. 5651) last week. Now the bill is moving on to the Senate–set for a vote late today. We need a groundswell of importation supporters to help us get the Senate’s attention now! The secrecy with which the FDA reauthorization bill ...
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Wis. Supreme Court upholds damages in drug lawsuit
June 22, 2012CBS NewsThe Associated Press The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday upheld damages that were awarded in a lawsuit the state brought against a prescription drug company accused of inflating prices. The lawsuit dates back to 2004 when then-Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager sued 36 drug companies alleging they inflated wholesale prices to get larger payments from ...
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Final FDA reauthorization bill threatens drug importation
As we feared, this harmful language has made it into the final legislation (the dollar amount merely changed to $2500) and some additional language was included to provide for rule making authority. Over the last week, we’ve been waiting to find out who the conferees are so that we could alert ...
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Rockefeller expands efforts to address prescription drug price gouging
June 14, 2012The State JournalBy Whitney Burdette Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., is continuing his fight against prescription drug price gouging. Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care, announced June 14 he would expand his anti price-gouging prescription drug measure to the ongoing House and Senate negotiations on the Food and Drug Administration reauthorization bill. ...
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New York Times: ‘Obama was pushed by the drug industry…’
Lee Graczyk felt compelled to respond to a recent New York Times article. Regardless of whether or not the newspaper decides to print his letter, we wanted to share it with our readers. Dear Editor, It has been disheartening to learn about the White House’s backroom negotiations with the pharmaceutical industry. Especially upsetting is the fact that ...
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Lobby E-Mails Show Depth of Obama Ties to Drug Industry
June 8, 2012NY TimesBy Peter Baker After weeks of quiet talks, drug industry lobbyists were growing nervous. If they were to cut a deal with the White House on overhauling health care, they needed to be sure President Obama would stop a proposal by his liberal allies intended to bring down medicine prices. Read more
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The ugly politics behind drug pricing
Last week, Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee released email documentation that proves what we suspected all along—top White House officials engaged in secret negotiations with PhRMA back in 2009 in order to secure the drug lobby’s help to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). To be clear, these sorts of ...
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Insurers forcing patients to pay more for costly specialty drugs
May 29, 2012Los Angeles TimesBy Chad Terhune Thousands of patients in California and across the nation who take expensive prescription drugs every month for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and other ailments are facing sticker shock at the pharmacy. Until recently, most of these patients typically paid modest co-pays for the advanced drugs. But increasingly, Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna ...
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Don’t let the government destroy imported meds!
Our ability to import prescription drugs is under attack yet again. Recently, the House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously approved H.R.5651, the Food and Drug Administration Reform Act. What most people don’t realize, is that a provision buried in this bill’s 294 pages would jeopardize the right of Americans to import affordable ...
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RxRights responds to Wall Street Journal article
Lee Graczyk, lead organizer of RxRights, recently submitted a response to the May 25 Wall Street Journal piece, “Senate Backs Broader Fees From Firms to Fund FDA.” We hope it gets printed, but if not, we wanted to at least share it with our readers. I am outraged that the McCain amendment to Food and Drug ...
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McCain drug importation amendment fails to pass Senate
The McCain Amendment to allow drug importation from Canadian online pharmacies was put to a vote by the Senate this afternoon (as part of S.3187, Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act). Unfortunately, it failed to pass in a vote of 43-54. Senators Grassley and Snowe were among those to express their fervent support for ...
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A Global Health Care Remedy – Why We Must Fix High Drug Prices
May 22, 2012Economy WatchBy Joseph E. Stiglitz The pharmaceutical industry today is a broken intellectual-property regime, which holds back on the development and availability of cheap drugs for the sake of profit maximisation. But it doesn’t have to be this way. An international effort by the World Health Organisation may now represent a once-in-a-generation opportunity to ...
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Stand up to those who would thwart drug importation!
Last week, we asked you to show support for Senator McCain’s amendment to allow drug importation from Canada as a part of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Safety and Innovation Act (S. 3187). Since then, a special interest group with close ties to big pharma started an opposition campaign. Yesterday, the ...
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‘Radical’ bill seeks to reduce cost of AIDS drugs by awarding prizes instead of patents
May 19, 2012Washington PostBy Brian Vastag Prizes, not patents. That could be the slogan for a radical idea that leading economists say would lower the price of new drugs for treating HIV/AIDS. Treating AIDS costs tens of thousands of dollars per patient annually in the United States, and more and more patients are unable to afford the life-saving ...
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Take action to support the McCain Amendment!
We just got word that Senator John McCain plans to introduce an amendment to the Food and Drug Administration act reauthorization (S. 3187) to allow prescription drug importation from Canadian online pharmacies. Please join us in speaking out to support his action. Tens of thousands of Americans already rely on the virtual lifeline to medicine provided ...
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Funding R&D: High Prices, Overuse A Failed Strategy
May 14, 2012GoozNewsBy Merrill Goozner Much has been written about the travails of the pharmaceutical industry. Generic competition is reducing profitability as leading blockbuster drugs like Pfizer’s Lipitor lose patent protection. Biotech generic competition is on the horizon. Read more
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Thanking senators who spoke out for importation
We recently told you about the amendment that Senator John McCain (R-AZ) introduced to allow prescription drug importation from Canadian online pharmacies during a reauthorization of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act. Unfortunately, the amendment, co-sponsored by Senator Al Franken (D-MN), didn’t make it past the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor ...
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Retired Couples May Need $240,000 for Health Care
May 9, 2012ABC News – AP StoryBy Mark Jewell Couples retiring this year can expect their medical bills throughout retirement to cost 4 percent more than those who retired a year ago, according to an annual projection released Wednesday by Fidelity Investments. Read more
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McCain and Franken offer amendment to allow importation
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) introduced an amendment to allow prescription drug importation from Canadian online pharmacies on Wednesday during a reauthorization of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act. Unfortunately, the amendment, co-sponsored by Senator Al Franken (D-MN), didn’t make it past the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions. It was ...
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FDA should educate consumers about safe online pharmacies
For some time now, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has tried to dissuade consumers from buying prescription drugs from international online pharmacies. That’s why we were gratified to see the findings of a recent National Bureau of Economic Research paper. The study confirms RxRights’ longstanding position that drug importation through verified online pharmacies is ...
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The Wrong Way to Stop Fake Drugs
April 22, 2102New York Times Opinion PagesBy Roger Bate IN 2007-8, when counterfeit versions of heparin, a blood-thinning drug, were shipped from China to the United States market, 149 people died. In the last few months, bogus versions of the cancer drug Avastin, apparently shipped from the Middle East, have surfaced in clinics ...
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Idaho settles GlaxoSmithKline case
CBS NewsApril 19, 2012 Idaho has reached a $2.6 million settlement with GlaxoSmithKline over accusations that the drug company accused sold products at false or inflated prices. Read more
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International online pharmacies can help Americans afford asthma medications
A 2005 study sponsored by Kaiser Family Foundation, Harvard School of Public Health, and USA Today found that 44% of American households with an asthma sufferer are unable to follow prescribed treatments due to cost. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.7 million Americans went to emergency rooms ...
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Congressman Ron Paul discusses ties between FDA and pharmaceutical industry
PharmacyChecker.comBy Gabriel Levitt As reported in DigitalJournal this past Wednesday, at a press conference in Keene, NH, Congressman Ron Paul (TX-14), Republican candidate for president, accused the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA of being in “bed together.” He derided their arrangement, characterized by a revolving door of people repeatedly switching jobs back and forth ...
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J.&J. Fined $1.2 Billion in Drug Case
April 12, 2012New York TimesBy Katie Thomas A judge in Arkansas ordered Johnson & Johnson and a subsidiary to pay more than $1.2 billion in fines on Wednesday, a day after a jury found that the companies had minimized or concealed the dangers associated with an antipsychotic drug. The fine, which experts said ranked among the largest ...
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Study suggests that Medicare Part D is not enough for many seniors
PharmacyChecker.comBy Gabriel Levitt and Sam Werbalowsky Some pharmaceutical industry folks, and their political allies, like to make the point that our nation’s seniors no longer need access to lower cost foreign medication because they now have new and improved Medicare drug plans. But a new report by IMS indicates that drug costs are having a negative ...
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Drug Spending Levels Off, But Not For The Usual Reasons
April 4, 2012Shots – NPR’s Health BlogBy Julie Rovner U.S. spending on prescription drugs grew just barely in 2011, according to the annual report from IMS Health, which keeps track of these things. But the reason for the barely discernible increase of 0.5 percent, to $320 billion, was not the expected one. Read more
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PhRMA Critique of Recent AARP Rx Drug Report
The AARP’s Public Policy Institute released a research report last month that caused quite a stir. The study found a 26 percent increase in retail prices for the prescription drugs most widely used by older adults from 2005-2009. This is double the rate of inflation over that period. Not surprisingly, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of ...
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Independent study confirms safey and cost-effectiveness of verified international online pharmacies
A study was released today by the National Bureau of Economic Research titled “Unveiling the Mystery of Online Pharmacies: An Audit Study.” This authoritative study confirms what we have known all along: personal drug importation through legitimate Canadian and other international online pharmacies is a safe, money-saving option for Americans. More than a million Americans — ...
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High co-pays linked to increased health risks for kids with asthma
High co-pays can prevent asthmatic children from getting the treatment they need to control the condition.
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It is time to stop rewarding corporate greed
Pfizer’s new head honcho brought home $25 million in compensation last year. This represents a 44 percent increase over the previous year for Ian Read, a Pfizer veteran who rose to the rank of CEO in late 2010. What justifies Read’s extraordinary pay bump? He’s developed a new way to squeeze money out of drugs going ...
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The New Healthcare Law Is No Panacea For The Drug Affordability Crisis in America
PharmacyChecker.comBy Gabriel Levitt and Sam Werbalowsky There is a drug affordability crisis in America. As we’ve reported, in 2010 48 million adults did not fill a prescription due to high drug costs. Perhaps surprisingly, in addition to millions of uninsured Americans, many Americans with insurance forgo prescription medication due to cost. Such insured ...
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Inside America’s Drug Shortage
The first in a two-part series investigating why critical prescription drugs are in short supply in the U.S. Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2012/03/19/where-have-all-our-drugs-gone/#ixzz1pgcA2VDL
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RxRights Survey Results
Earlier this year we disseminated a survey. We asked you, our readers, to share some information about yourselves with us. Thanks so much to those of you who participated in the survey. There were 1,667 of you! The survey responses will inform our organization’s future direction. The information gleaned will help us to ...
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India Orders Bayer to License a Patented Drug
Bayer has filed a patent infringement suit against Cipla, a drug company in Mumbai, India.
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New Report Finds Price Increases for Brand Name and Specialty Drugs More Than Offset Generic Drug Price Decreases
AARP NewsMarch 6, 2012 A look at retail prices for a combined set of widely used prescription drugs finds the cumulative change in prices from 2005 through 2009 was almost double the rate of inflation. AARP Public Policy Institute’s (PPI) examination of widely used drugs – brand name, specialty and generic – found that even with ...
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They’re at it again; the truth about the ‘Online Pharmacy Safety Act’
We all breathed a sigh of relief when the Senate and House decided to defer action on the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Unfortunately, they’re at it again. Another pair of bills (H.R. 4095/S. 2002) has cropped up that, in the spirit of SOPA and PIPA, threatens reputable online ...
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State court to examine ‘pay-for-delay’ deals by drugmakers
March 2, 2012California WatchBy Bernice Yeung California is the first state to examine whether pharmaceutical companies can pay competitors to not make or sell cheaper generic versions of their prescription drugs. The California Supreme Court last month agreed to review a 10-year-old class-action lawsuit involving the antibiotic Cipro (ciprofloxacin), which originally was manufactured by drugmaker Bayer. The suit argues ...
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HHS Sebelius keeps quiet about her drug importation program as governor
During the panel discussions, a retired pastor, Delores McCabe, brought focus to the high cost of prescription medication. As reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer: There has got to be something we can do above the Affordable Care Act that does something about an industry that is immoral,” said, drawing applause from ...
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Will FTC allow PBM monopoly?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is now considering whether to allow Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions (two pharmacy benefit managers) to merge. Community pharmacists, consumer rights groups and the attorney generals of 25 states oppose the merger, saying that it will negatively influence patient care and drive up prescription drug costs. We’ve written before about ...
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The Fiction Behind The Cost of New Drugs
February 17, 2012GooznewsBy Merrill Goozner The following column originally appeared in The Fiscal Times: The drug industry usually defends the high price on drugs – the latest cancer therapies are tipping the scales at $100,000 a year – by pointing to the large sums it spends on research and development. It is true that drug firms spend ...
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Big Pharma balks at President’s proposed budget
President Obama just released next year’s budget proposal and it has already sparked fierce criticism from the pharmaceutical industry. That’s because the plan would require Big Pharma to give an additional $156 billion in drug rebates over the next decade. You may remember that the pharmaceutical industry already agreed to give $80 billion in discounts and ...
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The Drug Shortage Crisis in America
February 13, 2012ForbesBy Doug Schoen Two Congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation to address prescription drug shortages last week.  The Drug Shortage Prevention Act would create a ‘Critical Drug List’ that would identify drugs that are susceptible to shortage, and require the FDA to develop a system to notify the public if a medicine ...
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Most Docs Say Pharma Ties Should Be Disclosed
February 9, 2012PharmalotBy Ed Silverman In the midst of ongoing negative publicity and controversy over ties between the medical community and the pharmaceutical industry, a majority of physicians who were surveyed in 2009 reported that they completely agreed with the idea that financial relationships with drugmakers should be disclosed. To be specific, nearly 65 percent endorsed ...
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Candidate Rick Santorum Defends High Drug Prices In America
PharmacyChecker.comBy Gabriel Levitt During a recent campaign appearance in front of a Tea Party crowd, as reported by ABC News, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum told a mother and her sick son that high drug costs are fair because they are determined by free market forces. It appears that Mr. Santorum doesn’t understand ...
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Health law delivers $2.1 billion in savings on drugs for seniors
February 2, 2012Los Angeles TimesBy Noam N. Levey In the first full year of the new healthcare law, 3.6 million people in the government Medicare program saved $2.1 billion on prescription drugs in 2011, the Obama administration announced Thursday. The savings are one of the first tangible benefits of the sweeping overhaul that the president signed in ...
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Can the people push past politics as usual?
A good article in the Huffington Post this week got our attention. “How Drug Companies Game Washington” outlines the pharmaceutical industry’s tremendous political power. The article is part of a weeklong series that critically examines the influence of special interests on politics. It’s a timely series. Approval for the performance of Congress is at an all ...
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ABC News article only tells part of the story
ABC News ran an article about SOPA’s role in shutting down illegal online pharmacies yesterday. The piece caught our attention because it doesn’t acknowledge the fact that the proposed anti-piracy legislation would use a shotgun approach to target ALL non-US pharmacy websites, regardless of their legitimacy or value to US consumers. While we agree that American ...
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RxRights survey reminder
If you haven’t already completed the RxRights survey, we’d like to ask you to please take a few minutes out of your busy day to do so. The better we know you and your concerns, the better we can tailor our messages and actions to engage you and others around the country. The more ...
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The High Price of New Cancer Drugs
January 23, 2012By GoozNews Julie Grabow, an oncologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, recently prescribed an exciting new therapy for a 60-year-old woman with metastatic breast cancer. Three-and-a-half years into her battle against the disease, the patient had already exhausted three different anti-estrogen therapies, each of which only put a temporary check on ...
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You stopped SOPA and PIPA!
You did it! You stopped SOPA and PIPA in their tracks. You delivered a wake up call to Congress! If ever I doubted the power of the people, I stand corrected now. For weeks it has looked as if the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) would fast ...
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Anti-piracy bills as a key election issue? Stay tuned…
Opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA)–which both threaten the right to import safe and affordable medicine–continues to mount. It’s looking like anti-piracy legislation could be a hot-button issue in this election year, but the situation continues to change and evolve. The film, TV and music industries have already ...
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U.S. to Force Drug Firms to Report Money Paid to Doctors
January 16, 2012New York TimesBy Robert Pear To head off medical conflicts of interest, the Obama administration is poised to require drug companies to disclose the payments they make to doctors for research, consulting, speaking, travel and entertainment. Many researchers have found evidence that such payments can influence doctors’ treatment decisions and contribute to higher costs by ...
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Sen. Klobuchar takes on the drug industry
Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN) held a panel discussion on drug shortages last Thursday at Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina, MN. RxRights’ staff were invited to attend the event. At the event, Sen. Klobuchar charged that the pharmaceutical industry is limiting production of low-profit medicines and sometimes even paying generic drug manufacturers to keep cheap alternatives off ...
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Share your thoughts with RxRights!
We at RxRights were heartened by our readers’ dedication to protecting access to safe and affordable medicine in 2011. We asked you to take action and speak out–and you did! Since you listened to us, now we want to start the year off right by listening to you. Please take a few minutes out of ...
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CVS Caremark Settles Charges Over Prescription Prices
January 12, 2012 New York Times By Reed Abelson and Natasha Singer After more than two years of investigation, CVS Caremark agreed on Thursday to pay $5 million to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission that the company had misrepresented the price of certain prescription drugs in one of its Medicare drug plans, causing many ...
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RxRights Responds to Washington Post editorial
Lee Graczyk, RxRights lead organizer, felt compelled to respond to a recent Washington Post editorial about the problem of Internet piracy and the legislation that has been crafted to address it. Though we have not had much luck getting the Post to publish Lee’s responses in the past, he continues to try, and wanted ...
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Myth Versus Reality: Promoting A Pricey Gout Pill
January 6, 2012PharmalotBy Ed Silverman Nearly three years ago, the FDA approved a version of colchicine –a cheap, decades-old treatment for gout–and a controversy quickly ensued. The new med won approval under the Orphan Drug Act, which means the manufacturer received seven years of marketing exclusivity. And the FDA later forced other manufacturers to halt marketing ...
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Shortages of important drugs mean big problems for thousands of U.S. patients
January 5, 2012Detroit Free PressBy Patricia Anstett Shortages of potentially lifesaving drugs are posing major problems for thousands of U.S. patients who may be forced to drive longer distances to get medicine, pay more for it or switch to a perhaps less-effective substitute. Some drugs, such as Doxil, prescribed for uterine cancer, are unavailable ...
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Stopping the Stop Online Piracy Act
December 28, 2011ReutersBy Michael Kooren Now that Congress has hit pause on its controversial Stop Online Piracy Act and nearly every argument about the merits and failings of the piece of copyright legislation has been made, it’s a good time to ask: what, in 2012, will it take to actually stop a bill like this? Because despite ...
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RxRights 2011 year in review
It’s hard to believe that a new year is already about to begin. In the year 2011, the right to import safe and affordable prescription drugs has been threatened like never before. As a result, it has been a busy year for RxRights. Though the threats are still very much alive, we ...
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SOPA legislative update
The House Judiciary Committee just held a mark up hearing on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). As we’ve been cautioning for a while, this bill is dangerous for a number of reasons. Our readers need to be aware of this bill because it would cut off American access to legitimate international online pharmacies. If you ...
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Average Americans show compassion for their fellow citizens who can’t afford medication – what about our elected officials?
December 16, 2011PharmacyChecker.comBy Margaret Rode Two years ago, ABC News ran a segment (What Would You Do?) that showed Americans going out of their way to help strangers who could not afford their medication. Actors visited local pharmacies pretending they could not afford to pay for their much-needed prescription drugs – something ...
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An MS Patient Loses Trust When She Finds Out Her Doctor Is Paid By Drug Companies
December 16, 2011Health AffairsBy Maran Wolston Last year, four years after showing initial symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS), I walked out the door of one neurologist’s office and, after several months of searching, switched to a ...
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Watch SOPA markup live
It looks like the House Judiciary Committee will give the public a chance to watch the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) markup live via webcast tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. You can bet that we’ll be watching tomorrow. We encourage you to do so too. To tune in, go to their site and click on the ...
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Act now! Don’t let Congress rob you of your right to import safe & affordable medicine!
Adapted from the December 13, 2011 RxRights e-newsletter It appears that Congress is hell-bent on fast tracking the legislation we’ve been warning you about (SOPA and PROTECT IP). If these proposals prevail, “we the people” lose and Big Pharma wins–big time. The House Judiciary Committee will be marking up (amending) SOPA on Thursday, December 15 at 10:00 ...
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Congress determined to rob you of your medications and your voice!
Since the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, is being marked up (amended) by the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, we’d like to take an opportunity to point some of the bill’s major flaws–and there are many! First of all, the bill has an overly broad–rather than ...
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Dr. Kate Scannell: The high cost of our prescription drug shortage
December 10, 2011Contra Costa TimesBy Dr. Kate Scannell We should not need to make certain laws. Without requiring state or federal legislation, we should automatically know that it’s wrong to, say, kick a puppy. To bully gay students in public schools. To maliciously impersonate someone through social media with the aim of harming them. To not ...
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Pfizer Pioneers New Ways to Frustrate Generics
December 5, 2011Gooznews.comBy Merrill Goozner The following article originally appeared in The Fiscal Times: The best-selling drug in pharmaceutical industry history, Pfizer’s cholesterol-lowering Lipitor, lost its patent protection Thursday. But the huge savings that consumers, insurance companies and the government usually realize when generic versions of a best-selling pill hit the market are still six months away, ...
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Majority of Seniors Postpone Doctor Visits Due to Financial Concerns
New Survey Finds Close to Half of Seniors Also Postpone Filling Prescriptions
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Drug companies put profits before patients
The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, whether you support it or not, has helped to raise some important questions lately about corporate greed. The pharmaceutical industry, though not directly targeted by OWS, has consistently put profits before people, just as the financial industry has. A prime example of this is pharma’s monopoly on life-saving HIV/AIDS ...
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Counterfeit drug bill gets tough on criminals, not consumers
By Gabriel LevittPharmacyChecker.com A bill was introduced in the House of Representatives last week that would make repeat counterfeit drug offenders subject to 20-year maximum jail-terms with $4 million fines for individuals and $10 million if the defendant is an entity. PharmacyChecker.com applauds the introduction of H.R.3468, Counterfeit Drug Penalty Act of 2011, as we believe, ...
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Merck to pay $950 million to settle Vioxx investigation
November 23, 2011Los Angeles TimesThe Associated Press The Justice Department said Tuesday that drug maker Merck & Co. will pay $950 million to resolve investigations into its marketing of the painkiller Vioxx. The agency said Merck would pay $321.6 million in criminal fines and $628.4 million as a civil settlement agreement. It will also plead guilty to ...
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Buying Prescription Drugs Online?
November 21, 2011AARP BulletinBy Sid Kirchheimer For nearly three years, scammers have been posing as FDA officials in extortion cons aimed at Americans who buy medications from Internet pharmacies. Now the scammers have found a new role — the fake DEA agent. But the intent remains the same as when Scam Alert previously reported this ploy: to ...
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Petition against E-PARASITE/SOPA successful!
Earlier this week, we asked our subscribers to take action against H.R.3261, the E-PARASITE Act (also known as the Stop Online Piracy Act or SOPA) by signing a petition on the White House website. Thanks to your overwhelming response, we helped the petition to meet and even surpass its goal! When we sent the message, the ...
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Those Prescription Drug Prices Keep On Rising
November 17, 2011PharmalotBy Ed Silverman The latest check on prescription drug prices reveals one obvious trend – an arrow pointing skyward. Through last month, the overall average price hike in 2011 was 7.2 percent, which tops the annual rates notched over the past decade, according to Barclays Capital analyst Lawrence Marsh, who ...
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RxRights statement in response to House Judiciary Committee hearing on Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)
In response to today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), Lee Graczyk, lead organizer of RxRights, issued the following statement: “This hearing painted an incomplete picture of SOPA as it relates to drug importation. This does an injustice to legislators and American consumers who deserve a clearer understanding of ...
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SOPA will have grave effects on the health of hundreds of thousands of Americans
We were pleased to see that this guest column from Lee Graczyk about SOPA was posted on Techdirt today. The House Judiciary Committee today is holding a hearing to examine the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a bill that proposes to address online copyright and trademark infringement by denying services to registrants, owners or operators ...
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Stop Online Piracy Act endangers health of millions
Here’s a great blog post about SOPA’s potential impact on public health from RxRights Coalition member Dan Hines, the publisher of a series of leading informational websites for an aging America. The law of unintended consequences is a warning that an intervention in a complex system tends to create unanticipated and ...
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Sign your name to protect access to affordable medicine!
The House of Representatives just introduced H.R.3261, the E-PARASITE Act (also known as the Stop Online Piracy Act or SOPA). This is the House counterpart to the Senate’s PROTECT IP Act (the bill we’ve been warning you about for months) but it’s even more insidious. SOPA is touted as a way to protect intellectual property, but ...
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Lead organizer of RxRights quoted in TV news segment
RxRights Leader Organizer Lee Graczyk was recently interviewed by WINK News Now, the CBS affiliate in Fort Myers, Florida, about how pending legislation could take away Americans’ right to order prescription drugs from Canada and other international pharmacies. In the piece, 89-year-old Mary Miller explains that she purchases a ...
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CBO Says Pay To Delay Bill Can Save $4.8 Billion
November 9, 2011Pharmalot By Ed Silverman A bipartisan bill that would limit pay-to-delay settlements, which are designed to keep lower-cost generic drugs off the market for extended periods, would save taxpayers an estimated $4.8 billion over the next decade, according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office. Read more
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A simple explanation of some complex legislation
Last week we issued a press statement regarding the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). This bill, which is informally referred to as the E-Parasite Act, was just introduced in the House and it threatens American access to safe, affordable medicine. Like the PROTECT IP Act (the Senate version of the anti-piracy bill) SOPA overgeneralizes when it ...
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Is the Era of Off-Label Promotion Over?
November 4, 2011By GoozNews The question arises in the wake of yesterday’s news that the government and GlaxoSmithKline settled a string of lawsuits charging the company with illegal promotion of prescription drugs for unapproved uses. The $3 billion settlement represented just a small fraction of the sales to patients for whom the off-label prescriptions either caused ...
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Stop Online Piracy Act fails to distinguish
Lee Graczyk, lead organizer of RxRights, issued the following press statement in response to new legislation introduced in the House that threatens American access to safe, affordable medicine. “It is imperative that Congress recognize the difference between ‘rogue’ versus ‘real’ online pharmacies. Recently introduced legislation in the House of Representatives, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), ...
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Publisher of seniors’ informational sites calls for Consumer Reports to address misstatements
Last week, we blogged about a Consumer Reports article that caused us concern because it dismissed prescription drug importation as an affordable alternative for Americans struggling with the high cost of their needed medicines. This week we revisit that topic with a blog post from a member of the RxRights Coalition. Citing what he describes as ...
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Obama orders FDA to help ease drug shortages
October 31, 2011msnbc.com news services President Barack Obama is directing the Food and Drug Administration to take steps to reduce drug shortages, action he says will help stop a “slow-rolling problem” that puts patients at risk and raises the potential for price gouging. Obama signed an executive order in the Oval Office on Monday instructing the ...
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Consumer Reports article misses the point on drug importation
We were disappointed to see this biased article by Consumer Reports this week that warns American consumers who are having trouble affording their needed medications to avoid international online pharmacies. They further advise patients to “switch to generics whenever possible, look for discount programs, and ask your doctor or pharmacist about other ways ...
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Ending drug companies’ pay-for-delay deals
October 24, 2011The Washington PostEditorial An upcoming report by the Federal Trade Commission shows that brand-name pharmaceutical makers continue to cut questionable deals with generic manufacturers that delay the introduction of cheaper drugs onto the market. Such pay-for-delay arrangements hurt consumers and increase costs for federal programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, according to ...
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Why Do Americans Need Greater Access to Safe International Online Pharmacies?
October 20, 2011PharmacyChecker.comBy Gabriel Levitt The simple answer is that tens of millions of Americans cannot afford prescription drugs here in the United States because they’re too expensive. Meanwhile, drug prices outside the U.S. are much lower – often 80% lower. Americans skipping or not taking prescription drugs is a national emergency largely going ignored in ...
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Solve debt problem by negotiating drug prices
House Democrats are asking the debt “super committee” to allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices. We at RxRights are in support of this common sense plan that would save an estimated $156 billion over 10 years. Letting Medicare use its bulk purchasing power to negotiate prices with drug companies is not a novel idea. The ...
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CIPA to take action against rogue online pharmacies
We’d like to commend RxRights member, the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA), for its efforts to protect consumers against rogue online pharmacies. CIPA today announced it is taking action against rogue internet pharmacies wrongfully displaying the CIPA certification seal on unapproved websites. As the official accrediting organization for all online pharmacy advertisements on Google Canada, Yahoo! ...
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Sen. Chuck Schumer seeks end to drugs’ ‘gray market’
October 10, 2011NYDailyNews.comBY Lore Croghan Sen. Chuck Schumer is seeing red over drug distributors’ “gray market” buys of scarce cancer and heart meds. Amid record drug shortages, resellers are stockpiling chemotherapy treatments, high blood pressure medications and other life-saving drugs they purchase from intermediate distributors – and peddling them to hospitals for markups of up to 4,000%. Read ...
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Representative launches investigation into gray market gouging
Sometimes writing to your representatives does make an impact! Brenda Frese, mother of a 3-year-old with leukemia, wrote to Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) about shortages of Cytarabine, a critical drug in her son’s treatment that is now in short supply. We’re pleased to report that Cummings was moved by her story and decided to investigate. The ...
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Drugmakers Charged With Defrauding Medicaid
October 5, 2011PharmalotBy Ed Silverman More than a dozen drugmakers have been named in a whistleblower lawsuit that charges they concocted various schemes to underpay rebates to numerous state Medicaid programs over the past seven years. And the complaint was filed by the former head of a major trade group that represents healthcare products distributors. The lawsuit ...
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Support for Rx drug importation
We at RxRights were pleased to see this recent editorial in The Free Press (Mankato, MN) in support of prescription drug importation. Lee Graczyk wrote and submitted a response to the piece and we decided to share it with our readers here: Dear editor, I’m writing in response to your September 25, 2011 editorial, “Both parties restrain ...
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Google’s Ad Freedom Wrongly Curtailed
September 28, 2011Real Clear MarketsBy Roger Bate Last month Google was fined $500 million for allowing foreign pharmacies that sell to Americans to advertise on Google adWords. Google’s agreement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) focused on controlled substances, like opiate painkillers, but as a result Google must now block all foreign ...
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Unaffordable medicine can have dangerous consequences
When times are tough, people have to skimp and save. It’s only common sense that this would extend to health care. Nearly half of those surveyed admitted postponing doctor’s visits, medical procedures or tests due to costs. Of these people, 28 percent endangered their health by not filling prescriptions, skipping ...
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Who uses international pharmacies?
We hear every day from people who use international pharmacies. They are people you know: your friends, your spouse, your parents, your grandmother, your brother and your child. They are people who are simply trying to maintain their health and balance their budgets at the same time. These stories need to be told–and heard. They are ...
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Drug Spending Targeted in Obama’s $320 Billion Health Cut
September 19, 2011Bloomberg Businessweek President Barack Obama’s deficit- trimming proposal would cut $320 billion from U.S. health programs in prescription drug and nursing home spending and by increasing individuals’ payments for Medicare coverage. The biggest reduction is $135 billion in drug prices the government pays companies led by New York-based Pfizer Inc. and Merck & Co. ...
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Lifesaving drugs ‘out of reach’ for many
Georgia Health NewsSeptember 12, 2011By Andy Miller Seven years ago, Ed Levitt received what he considered a death sentence. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. For a nonsmoker who had seemed “fit as a fiddle,’’ the diagnosis came as a shock. He had worked for a Fortune 500 company, and he believes the chemicals involved in ...
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RxRights calls for a common sense approach to importation
Lee Graczyk, lead organizer of RxRights, just issued the following statement on behalf of U.S. seniors fighting the high cost of pharmaceuticals through drug importation: Congress needs to exercise common sense and recognize that personal drug importation from legitimate, licensed pharmacies is a necessity for millions of Americans today. From the pending PROTECT IP Act to the ...
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Drug shortage dilemma
If you have been paying attention lately to the news, you’ll know that the United States is facing an unprecedented shortage of live-saving prescription drugs. Almost every hospital recently surveyed by the American Hospital Association reported being short of one or more drugs in the previous six months. Nearly half of them reported shortages on ...
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Whistleblower lawsuit accuses generic drugmakers of scheme that overcharged Medicaid
September 6, 2011Chicago TribuneBy Linda A. Johnson Three generic drugmakers are being accused in a whistleblower lawsuit of scheming to overcharge the government by tens of millions of dollars for medicines. The U.S. Attorney’s office on Tuesday joined in the lawsuit, brought by Chicago pharmacist Bernard Lisitza. His attorneys alleged in a 162-page complaint unsealed Tuesday afternoon that ...
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Canadian Pharmacies React To US Gov’t Taking $500 Million From Google Over Their Ads
September 1, 2011TechDirtBy Mike Masnick While the Justice Department spun the taking of $500 million from Google as an important step in “protecting Americans,” the reality appears to be that it’s doing exactly the opposite. While there certainly may be some online pharmacies that sell fake and fraudulent (and potentially dangerous) drugs, ...
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F.T.C. Criticizes Agreements That Delay Generic Drugs
August 31, 2011The New York TimesBy Duff Wilson Some drug makers are using an indirect method to delay competition from low-cost generic products by promising not to introduce their own generic versions if a potential competitor delays its entry into the market, the Federal Trade Commission said in a report on Wednesday. Until lately, the so-called pay-for-delay ...
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48 Million Americans Forgo Filling Prescription Medication in 2010 Due To Cost
PharmacyChecker.com blog August 31, 2011 By Gabriel Levitt and Margaret Rode A new report by the Commonwealth Fund, from their 2010 Biennial Health Insurance Survey, shows that 48 million Americans, ages 19-64, did not fill a prescription due to cost in 2010, up from 29 million in 2001 – a 66% increase. The ...
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RxRights outreach to Oregon advocates
RxRights recently made a special effort to reach out to our Oregon supporters. We asked them to join us in sending a “thank you” message to Senator Ron Wyden (OR). Senator Wyden has been single-handedly blocking the PROTECT IP Act, which poses a threat to continued access to safe and affordable medicine ...
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Letter to the editor of the Washington Post
The PROTECT IP Act threatens American access to safe and affordable prescription drugs from trusted Canadian and other international pharmacies. For this reason, RxRights has been speaking out against this bill over the past months. We’ve also asked our supporters to contact President Obama and Congress to voice their support for continued access to prescription ...
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Cancer Drug Shortages Getting Worse, FDA Says
August 24, 2011MSN HealthDayBy Steven Reinberg Since 2010, the number of drugs either in short supply or not available at all has risen dramatically, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Most of these are generic drugs given by injection and used in hospitals to treat serious conditions such as breast and testicular cancer. These shortages ...
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RxRights statement in response to Google settling pharmacy ad probe for $500 million
It was announced yesterday that Google has settled the U.S. Justice Department’s pharmacy ad probe, Lee Graczyk, lead organizer of RxRights, issued a statement in response: It is imperative to make the distinction that not all Canadian pharmacies are dangerous rogue sites. There are licensed, legitimate Canadian and other international pharmacies that Americans rely on to ...
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In donut hole, Medicare patients don’t switch, they stop
Posted August 18, 2011FiercePharmaBy Tracy Staton When seniors hit the Medicare Part D donut hole, they don’t switch to less expensive brands or even cheaper generics, a new Harvard Medical School/CVS Caremark study found. They stop taking meds altogether. Read more
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Medicaid Pays Less Than Medicare for Many Prescription Drugs, U.S. Report Finds
August 15, 2011The New York TimesBy Robert Pear Medicaid gets much deeper discounts on many prescription drugs than Medicare, in part because Medicaid discounts are set by law whereas Medicare prices are negotiated by private insurers and drug companies, federal investigators said Monday in a new report. The report, from the inspector general of the Department of ...
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Beware of fake DEA agent online pharmacy scam
Our friends at PharmacyChecker made a blog post this week that we wanted to pass along to our readers. You can read the full text below or on their website. A recent article in The Muskegon Chronicle warns of a new scam against consumers who buy prescription drugs online. The Chronicle reports: Some people who bought ...
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Pending congressional legislation could hurt U.S. seniors
Lee Graczyk, lead organizer of RxRights, issued the following press statement today on behalf of U.S. seniors fighting the high cost of pharmaceuticals. “More than 38 million senior citizens live on fixed incomes in the U.S. During these difficult economic times, ...
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J&J Makes Progress in Risperdal Probe
August 11, 2011Wall Street JournalBy Johnathan Rockoff Johnson & Johnson has agreed in principle to plead guilty to a misdemeanor criminal charge as part of a settlement of a federal probe into off-label marketing of antipsychotic Risperdal, though several other issues remain under discussion. Federal prosecutors have been investigating the promotion of ...
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Patent Cliff Brings More Good News: Medicare Drug Premiums Will Not Raise in 2012
PharmacyChecker.com August 10, 2011By Margaret Rode Besides the obvious – access to cheap generic alternatives for once exorbitantly priced prescriptions – this year’s patent expirations on blockbuster brand-name drugs means even more good news for American consumers. A U.S. News and World Report article suggests the Patent Cliff as one of the reasons for the forecasted ...
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Patient safety in drug importation
The Partnership for Safe Medicines recently issued a public health alert about online pharmacies selling “non-FDA approved” medicines. This group (whose executive director has a high-ranking position with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America) has released a flurry of similar news items this week that seem to be geared towards scaring consumers away from ...
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Senator Schumer’s Crackdown on Rogue Online Pharmacies: A Smart Approach
July 28, 2011 PharmacyChecker.com blogBy Gabriel Levitt and Margaret Rode Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is calling for a crackdown on rogue online pharmacies to curtail prescription drug abuse. Senator Schumer’s emphasis is on stopping online pharmacies that sell drugs without a prescription, particularly addictive drugs, such as Adderall and Xanax, which are controlled substances.  We commend ...
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How to Cut Your Drug Costs
July 28, 2011US News & World ReportBy Philip Moeller Drug price inflation seems impervious to market forces, even during this very weak recovery. So it makes sense to do a thorough review of your drug costs at least once a year. Next year’s Medicare coverage decisions seem far, far away but that annual renewal or, for ...
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Drug Prices to Plummet in Wave of Expiring Patents
July 25, 2011Time Heatlhland By Associated Press The cost of prescription medicines used by millions of people every day is about to plummet. The next 14 months will bring generic versions of seven of the world’s 20 best-selling drugs, including the top two: cholesterol fighter Lipitor and blood thinner Plavix. The magnitude of this wave of expiring drugs ...
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Personal stories about safe and affordable drug importation
Many of you have recently written and called us to express your opinions and outage at the high cost of medicine in the U.S. in response to our campaign for safe and affordable medicine. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and stories with us! Some of these stories are so compelling that we decided to share ...
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Pew white paper and prescription drug safety
A few months back, the Pew Charitable Trusts hosted a conference that put a spotlight on the safety of the U.S. prescription drug supply, which relies heavily on sourcing active ingredients from developing countries like China and India. As we mentioned in a previous post, we are in full support of the conference’s goal to prevent ...
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Obama Targets Drug Companies for Cuts in U.S. Debt Talks
July 15, 2011 BloombergBy Drew Armstrong Drugmakers led by Pfizer Inc. (PFE) and Merck & Co. were targeted for Medicare cuts by President Barack Obama as lawmakers push to agree on a deficit plan. The industry predicted “startling” job losses would result. Pharmaceutical companies “are still doing very well through the Medicare program,” Obama said today ...
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Physician speaks out about doctors & drug reps
Pharmaceutical companies spend more on marketing than they do on research and development. The drug industry spends thousands of dollars per physician each year carefully targeting their pitches, directly marketing to doctors and trying to influence what is prescribed. They go to this trouble because it is extremely profitable for them. Research has shown that if ...
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Alabama cuts Medicaid drug costs by examining pharmacy receipts
July 14, 2011StatelineBy Christine Vestal Three years ago, Carol Steckel, Alabama’s Medicaid director, sent a national alert to all of her counterparts around the country. She asked them to join her in attacking fraudulent prices published by major drug makers — prices that she said inflated the amount all states were paying to pharmacies. At the time, ...
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PBMs and the price of prescription drugs
Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) have been in the news a lot lately. PBMs are companies that have sprung up to help employers and insurance companies administer their prescription drug benefits. In theory, PBMs help control drug costs because they can purchase in bulk and are able to negotiate prices with big pharmaceutical companies. In practice, ...
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Drug makers try to sidetrack demands for discounts
July 9, 2011Los Angeles TimesBy Noam N. Levey As the president and congressional leaders look for savings as part of a major debt deal, the pharmaceutical industry has stepped up its behind-the-scenes lobbying to kill proposals that it contribute to any compromise. President Obama this spring said drug makers should offer discounts to low-income seniors who ...
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PharmacyChecker.com Submits Comments to FDA Regarding Online Pharmacies and Personal Drug Importation
Our friends at PharmacyChecker.com recently submitted some suggested revisions to the FDA regarding communications and policy pertaining to online pharmacies and personal drug importation. We thought our readers might be interested in these comments. The following article originally appeared on the PharmacyChecker.com blog. July 1, 2011By Margaret RodePharmacyChecker.com Per the FDA’s invitation for regulation reviews and comments ...
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Harvard Punishes 3 Psychiatrists Over Undisclosed Industry Pay
July 2, 2011Shots – NPR’s Health BlogBy Richard Knox Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital have disciplined three faculty members in a long-running conflict-of-interest case that became a prime exhibit in the debate over the federal Physician Payments Sunshine Act of 2010. Drs. Joseph Biederman, Thomas Spencer and Timothy Wilens stood accused of accepting more ...
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A Congressional Bailout for a Pharma Firm?
June 28, 2011Mother JonesBy Siddhartha Mahanta The fate of the global economy hangs in the balance as Congress continues to haggle over tax cuts, revenue increases, and raising the debt ceiling. But at least they’re taking care of big pharma. On Thursday, the House passed a John Conyers (D-Mich.)-authored amendment to the massive bipartisan overhaul of ...
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Big pharma’s rights take precedence over patient rights
The Supreme Court decided last week that corporations’ First Amendment rights take precedence over the privacy rights of consumers. The case was Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc., and the decision means that pharmaceutical companies will continue to have access to prescription data, which allows pharmaceutical representatives to carefully target their drug marketing efforts to doctors. We’ve ...
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What has RxRights been up to?
Effecting change is hard work, especially when you are up against powerful opponents like government and industry. It’s far too easy to get frustrated and bogged down when change doesn’t happen fast enough, but perseverance is key. And so is perspective. That’s why the RxRights staff decided to sit down recently to consider how far ...
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House Republican signs on to Democrats’ Medicare drug savings proposal
June 21, 2011The HillBy Julian Pecquet Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) is co-sponsoring legislation requiring the Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, a priority for House Democrats in the ongoing debt-ceiling negotiations. he bill, cosponsored by Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), could save up to $156 billion over 10 years according to its proponents, but it’s vehemently opposed ...
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US Army Probes Pharma Payments To Military Docs
June 20, 2011PharmalotBy Ed Silverman In the wake of a recent settlement between Novo Nordisk and the US Department of Justice over charges the drugmaker illegally promoted its hemophilia drug to both civilian and military physicians, the US Army has reopened its own investigation into the episode and will now widen that ...
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Bayer Off-Label Promotion Of Yasmin Birth Control Pill For Acne Caused Teenager’s Death: Lawsuit
June 17, 2011 Pharmalot By Ed Silverman The thousands of lawsuits filed against Bayer over alleged injuries and deaths relating to the Yaz and Yasmin contraceptives typically dwell on higher risks beyond those of traditional birth control pills and overly aggressively promotion that failed to disclose the possibility of blood clots, in ...
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Physicians need to radically rethink their prescribing practices, report says
June 16, 2011MinnPostBy Susan Perry The Archives of Internal Medicine published a remarkable report this week that should be required reading by every physician. And every health consumer. The report, whose lead author is Dr. Gordon D. Schiff, associate director of the nonprofit Center for Patient Safety Research and Practice at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, calls ...
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Heparin and the importance of prescription drug safety
Prescription drug safety has been in the news quite a bit lately. A jury just awarded $625,000 to the estate of a man who died after receiving doses of a contaminated prescription drug. The drug in question was heparin, a blood thinner made by Baxter International. A few years back, dosages of heparin sickened hundreds of ...
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U.S. Government Fed Up With Pharmaceutical Prices – FDA To The Rescue?
June 7, 2011PharmacyChecker.comBy Margaret Rode In March of this year the FDA took the unusual step of allowing an “unapproved” compounded drug to remain on the market to explicitly make sure Americans could afford that product. That drug is hydroxyprogesterone caproate, branded by K-V Pharmaceuticals as Makena, the first FDA-approved drug to prevent the risk of ...
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RxRights Radio Tour
Safe and affordable prescription drug importation is facing some serious threats lately. To counteract these threats, we’ve been ramping up our outreach efforts and looking for different ways to spread the RxRights message to the public. Coalition leader Lee Graczyk recently completed a radio interview tour. He completed 11 interviews in various parts of the U.S. ...
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Following 12,400% Price Hike in Drug Used to Treat Gout, Brown Urges Company to Rethink Decision, Calls on CMS to Investigate Ramifications
June 6, 2011Pharmacy ChoiceTargeted News Service Drug Was Hiked From As Little As 4 Cents per Pill to $5 per Pill; For Average Gout Sufferer, Monthly Cost Has Soared From $2.40/Month to $300/Month or More Following a 12,400 percent price hike for a gout treatment drug known as colchicine, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today sent a ...
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Healthcare law to allow generic versions of biotech drugs
The development of ‘biogenerics’ is expected to put the brakes on the profit bonanza from such drugs as Abbott Laboratories’ Humira.
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The Protect Intellectual Property Act – S.968 Will Prevent Access To Medicines
By Gabriel Levitt, Vice President, PharmacyChecker.comView original article on the PharmacyChecker blog Last Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously passed S. 968, Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011, also known as the Protect IP Act. Its passage represents a real threat to Americans’ access to safe and ...
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Judiciary Committee Meeting on PROTECT IP – May 26
We’ve learned that the Senate Judiciary Committee is meeting on Thursday morning, May 26, to discuss S.968, the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 (PROTECT IP Act). As we’ve indicated in our previous posting, this bill seriously threatens the right of Americans to access affordable prescrption drugs ...
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Senator Leahy Supports Bringing Drugs In From Canada… And Also Banning Such Sites From The Internet
May 24, 2011
TechDirtBy Mike Masnick In the latest bit of evidence that Senator Patrick Leahy, who is the official sponsor of the PROTECT IP Act, doesn’t even understand what it is he’s proposing, the folks over at DemandProgress are pointing out a massive contradiction in two separate bills that Leahy has introduced. First, of course, we have ...
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Who is the PROTECT IP Act Protecting?
Senator Patrick Leahy has just introduced a new Internet censorship bill that could cut off Americans’ right to access to safe and affordable medications from international online pharmacies. The White House caused us great concern last year when they supported Leahy’s previous version of the bill (COICA). But this new version—called the Preventing Real Online Threats ...
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What does the Google settlement mean for online pharmacies?
Google is reportedly setting aside $500 million to resolve a case with the Justice Department alleging that the company cashed in—to the tune of hundreds of millions—on paid ads from rogue online pharmacies. In the aftermath of Google’s settlement, RxRights is concerned about a blanket backlash against all online pharmacies. Unlicensed, rogue pharmacies are vastly different ...
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4 Pharma CEOs Admit They Jack Up Drug Prices for the Hell of It
May 17, 2011 By Jim Edwards BNET Four healthcare CEOs did something extraordinary at the Reuters Health Summit last week: They admitted that drug companies put up prices just for the hell of it. It was a rare moment of group candor from Big Pharma and its allies, who usually argue that prices are set by ...
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Are non-U.S. drugs unsafe?
Late last month, as part of its Internet Drug Outlet Identification Program, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) released a new report that claims that 96 percent of the online pharmacies they reviewed are out of compliance with established U.S. laws and standards. All of these websites are identified on a “Not Recommended ...
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Stop Price Increases for H.I.V. and AIDS Prescriptions
May 12, 2011PharmacyChecker.comBy Margaret Rode Last summer we reported on the prohibitive costs of AIDS and H.I.V. drugs in America. Due to high drug prices, plus overcrowded and inefficient AIDS Drug Assistance Programs, individuals suffering from these diseases live in fear, not knowing if they will get the meds they need. Sadly, the ...
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The war over Lipitor
May 6, 2011CNNMoneyBy Katherine Eban Just after Thanksgiving this year, if all goes as planned, the pharmaceutical industry will pass a historic milestone: A generic version of Lipitor — the biggest-selling prescription drug on the face of the earth — will go on sale for the first time in the U.S. You’d think that in this era ...
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Pay for Delay: U.S. Says Drugmakers Block Cheaper Generic Rivals
May 5, 2011Fox BusinessBy Elizabeth MacDonald The Federal Trade Commission has found an “unprecedented” 60% jump in drug industry “pay for delay” deals that stall consumers’ access to cheaper generic drugs, hurting consumers’ and taxpayers’ wallets. The report could lay the groundwork for even more antitrust, anti-monopoly actions the government has increasingly been bringing against ...
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Ex-Governor Blagojevich, Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the Lessons Learned by the I-Save Rx Personal Drug Importation Program
May 3, 2011PharmacyChecker.comBy Gabriel Levitt As the retrial of former Governor Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges commences, we’d like to re-direct your attention to the personal drug importation program he championed. Had that program received better backing from our politicians, fewer Americans would have gone without needed medications. In October of 2004, a ...
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Should drug marketing count as free speech?
The Supreme Court heard arguments last week about whether data mining companies should have the right to compile and sell information about what drugs doctors are prescribing to pharmaceutical companies for use in drug marketing (Sorrell v. IMS Health, 10-779). Pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars on marketing each year—even  more than they spend on research ...
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Generic Use Increase Means Spending Decrease for Consumers; But No U.S. Drug Price Relief on Brand Name Drugs in Sight
PharmacyChecker.comApril 26, 2011By Gabriel Levitt A new study published this month finally offers positive news about prescription drugs. Findings from The Use of Medicines in the United States: Review of 2010, by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, show that 78% of all prescription orders filled are for generic drugs, up from 75% in 2009. Aside ...
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Have drug ads gotten out of hand?
We came across an interesting article last week about how big pharmaceutical companies use direct to consumer (DTC) advertising (mainly via drug ads on TV) to increase their drug sales. Essentially, DTC drug advertising is a means of hoodwinking the public into demanding drugs they don’t need. The U.S. is one of only two countries (the ...
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Hey, big spender. How much did you shell out for Rx drugs?
Consumer ReportsApril 20, 2011 Which prescription drugs did Americans—and their insurance companies—spend the most on in 2010? Here are the top 10, according to IMS Health, a health-care information company. No surprise, most were heavily advertised brands for common ailments such as heartburn and high cholesterol. But in many cases, they wouldn’t be our ...
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Pharma CEOs still reaping rewards
The AP just ran a story about the 65 percent increase that Richard Clark, Merck’s former CEO, got in compensation last year. Most of us can’t even imagine such a huge pay hike. With the U.S. economy in shambles and Americans struggling to pay for their prescriptions, this drug company’s CEO received a total of ...
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Take action to protect your RxRights!
Countless Americans like you can’t afford their needed medications. Millions of Americans have found a safe and affordable alternative–they import their prescription drugs through legitimate Canadian and international online pharmacies. But this virtual lifeline is in jeopardy. Misguided efforts by Congress and officials in the White House could take away the ability to order medications online–even ...
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Share your story with RxRights!
There has been a lot of press lately about the rising cost of pharmaceuticals. And we at RxRights have been telling you over and over how millions of Americans are struggling to afford the exorbitant cost of their needed medications. But it’s rare to see the individual human faces behind this public health crisis. That’s why ...
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Protecting IP at the expense of public health
We’ve been closely monitoring hearings and press related to the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), which was introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy last year. This legislation could have grave implications for safe and affordable online drug importation. COICA was quickly approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee last year and was headed to a full ...
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Off-label drug pushing
When drug companies spend billions of dollars on marketing each year, they obviously don’t have public health in mind. This excessive spending contributes to the ever-rising cost of prescription drugs. In addition, top pharmaceutical companies have been known to use aggressive and questionable tactics to promote specific name brand drugs. We recently wrote about the kickbacks doctors ...
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Off-Label Marketing of Medicines in the US Is Rife but Difficult to Control, Study Finds
      Apr. 5, 2011ScienceDaily Despite Federal Drug Administration regulation of the approval and use of pharmaceutical products, “off-label” marketing of drugs (for purposes other than those for which the drug was approved) has occurred in all aspects of the US health care system. In a study published in this week’s PLoS Medicine, Aaron S. Kesselheim from Brigham ...
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China Cuts Domestic Drug Prices by 21% on Average; Could This Cause Higher Prices in the U.S.?
April 1, 2011PharmacyChecker.com This week in China, the National Development and Reform Commission put dramatic retail drug price cuts into effect. To lower prices, hospitals and clinics are now required to cap the costs for over 1,200 antibiotics and circulatory system drugs, according to Reuters. The 21% average decrease means $1.53 billion savings for Chinese patients ...
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Seniors with Medicare still skip high priced heart drugs
A new study by the Mayo Clinic further illustrates the public health risk created by the outrageous price of prescription drugs. Seniors with a history of heart failure were surveyed for the study. Almost half of the 209 patients said they had stopped taking their medication or had not filled a prescription because of cost. Also, ...
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AARP endorses drug reimportation Bill
The AARP pleasantly surprised us this week by endorsing the Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act of 2011—otherwise known as the Stabenow/Snowe reimportation bill. The legislation is co-sponsored by Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and would provide legal access to safe and affordable drugs from abroad. Currently, the FDA allows for the ...
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Supreme Court favors pharma
We at RxRights are disheartened at the recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of Big Pharma and against the poor. Back in January, we told you how big pharmaceutical companies were being sued for overcharging hospitals and clinics designed to help the less fortunate for prescription drugs—despite negotiated caps on prices. We commend Santa Clara and ...
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Fewer fill ‘dispense as written’ prescriptions – study
March 25, 2011Reuters When there was no “dispense as written” label on a new prescription for patients with chronic disease, about 8 percent went unfilled. That compared to close to 12 percent when patients themselves said they didn’t want a generic. Older patients and doctors were both more likely to require that a prescription be filled with ...
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More on Makena
We recently told you about Makena, a preemie prevention drug that went from $15 to $1500 per dose overnight. There’s a good article in the Washington Post today with some more background about the drug and the FDA approval process. There has been a great deal of criticism in the news lately about this situation. As ...
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80% Savings Found Purchasing Brand Name Drugs Online from International Pharmacies, According to PharmacyChecker.com
March 24, 2011Pharmacychecker.com By purchasing online, cost savings on ten of the most popular brand name medications now average 80% according to PharmacyChecker.com. This compares to savings of 73% in 2008. The greatest savings over U.S. bricks and mortar retail pharmacies is achieved using international online pharmacies, many of which are based in Canada. Potential savings ...
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Is your doctor accepting drug money?
Each year, doctors receive millions of dollars from big pharmaceutical companies. In exchange, the doctors effectively become drug pushers—by promoting particular, name brand prescription drugs to their patients. Kickbacks can range from small tokens like pens and free lunches to extravagant gifts and even cash. As recently reported in the LA Times, Bristol-Myers Squibb is being ...
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’60 Minutes’ could have gone further with counterfeit drugs piece
The recent CBS 60 Minutes piece on the dangers of counterfeit drugs being sent into this country clearly identified the risks to our nation’s health created by those operations, which are illegal, even in their own countries. It was encouraging that the program recognized that: there are legitimate sources of prescription drugs beyond our borders from countries ...
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Pew Health Group hosts roundtable on prescription drug safety
On Monday and Tuesday Mar. 14-15, the Pew Health Group brought together members of the drug industry, policymakers, regulators and consumers to tackle key questions about overseas drug manufacture, distribution and safety. Among the presenters was Roger Bate, of the American Enterprise Institute, whose research on the safety of drug importation we have referenced here before. More ...
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U.S. drug prices outstrip other medical costs: GAO
March 13, 2011ReutersReporting by Deena Beasley; Editing by Steve Orlofsky, Bernard Orr U.S. prices for brand-name prescription drugs rose at a faster rate than costs for other medical goods and services over the last four years, according to a new U.S. government report. The nonpartisan U.S. Government Accountability Office found that the “usual and customary” price ...
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FDA approval leads to exorbitant drug pricing
When pharmaceutical companies are given free reign, people are forced to pay outrageous prices for prescription drugs. We recently learned about a shocking increase in the price of a drug that prevents premature births. This week, the drug’s price will exponentially increase from $15 per injection to an astonishing $1500 per dose! Why is such an ...
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U.S. Brand-Name Drug Prices Dramatically Increased in 2010, According to New Report
March 11, 2011PharmacyChecker.comBy Gabriel Levitt and Margaret Rode Last August AARP published an analysis stating that in 2009 brand-name drug prices increased by over 8%. Disturbingly, new data shows that from 2009 to 2010, in the Rochester region of upstate New York, brand-name drug prices increased by a devastating 11%, almost seven times the average inflation ...
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Prescription drug prices at an all time high
The price of prescription drugs in the United States has skyrocketed in recent years. This is especially apparent when you look at widely used, name-brand drugs. An AARP study from last summer indicated a shocking 41 percent increase in the price of the top 207, name-brand drugs from 2004-2009. Has your salary or pension ever increased ...
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It’s back, old reimportion bill gets new life!
Like a spring perennial, the “Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act” has been reintroduced in Congress. You might recall this legislation from the 2005, 2007 and 2009 sessions. It was formerly known as the Dorgan/Snowe bill, but now it’s the Stabenow/Snowe bill (S.319). This iteration has been mercifully reduced from 35 plus pages to 11 ...
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COICA hearing update
We recently told you about a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, “Targeting Websites Dedicated To Stealing American Intellectual Property.” The February 16 hearing addressed the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy last year. Witnesses from the companies like Visa and Verizon testified at the hearing, as well as a witness from ...
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Demythologizing the High Costs of Developing New Drugs
GooznewsBy Merrill GoozerFebruary 21, 2011 Pharmaceutical companies continue to claim that high research and development (R&D) costs make it necessary for them to charge high prices and retain long ownership of patents to recoup costs. But a new study co-authored by health economists Rebecca Warburton and Donald W. Light demonstrates that high R&D estimates have been ...
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Stroke medicines still unaffordable for some survivors, according to University of Michigan research
February 10, 2011University of Michigan Health SystemContact: Heather Guenther  Young, uninsured stroke survivors or those covered by the Medicare Part D drug benefit often can’t afford medications — increasing the risk for future strokes or other cardiovascular disease-related events, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2011. Researchers ...
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Senators Stabenow, Snowe Introduce Legislation to Lower Prescription Drug Prices
February 22, 2011FiercePharma U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME) announced today they have introduced legislation to allow the reimportation of safe prescription drugs to lower the cost of medicines for consumers in the United States. The “Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act” is cosponsored by a bipartisan ...
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What’s More Important, IP or Public Health?
Wednesday morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing relating to Senator Leahy’s Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act (COICA). In its current format, this bill could have grave implications for Americans who rely on drug reimportation as a means to access safe and affordable prescription drugs. For those of you who are unfamiliar with ...
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Legislative Update
Keeping up with legislative initiatives can be a daunting task. A recent review of Congressional action related to prescriptions and drug policy showed 47 Federal pieces of legislation pending. RxRights is monitoring this legislation. We’ve compiled a snapshot here of some of the more pertinent legislation as it relates to our cause. S 3804: The Combatting ...
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Department of Justice Joins Whistleblower Suit Against Abbott
We’ve been hearing a lot lately in the press about whistleblower cases against big pharmaceutical companies. But we were surprised to learn this week that the Department of Justice is set to take the lead in a group of lawsuits against Abbott Laboratories. The lawsuits stem from Abbott’s off-label promotion of Depakote, a drug used to ...
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Better Drug Ads, Fewer Side Effects
February 8, 2011 The New York Times – Opinion Pages By Ian D. Spatz, former vice president for global health policy at Merck On Aug. 8, 1997, Michael Friedman, then a deputy commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration, announced a policy change that let loose the forces of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical television advertising. In ...
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How the war on fake drugs risks harming the poor
February 2, 2011The GuardianSarah Boseley’s Global Health Blog A new Oxfam report warns that the strategy against counterfeit medicines suits the interests of big pharma and rich countries, but will not safeguard the poor against fake and sub-standard drugs, and could hinder their access to cheap quality medicines. There is a lot of talk about the dangers ...
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FDA Warning and Tips for Choosing a Safe Online Pharmacy
The FDA issued a warning last month about an extortion scheme largely targeting people who have used the Internet to purchase their prescription drugs. Victims received phone calls from FDA agent impersonators using scare tactics in order to coerce them into paying phony fines. In light of this scam, we at RxRights wanted to remind our ...
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Narrowing COICA’s Scope to Protect Safe Drug Importation
A recent article in The Hill’s Congress Blog takes a critical look at the proposed Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA). We applaud the Administration’s efforts to crack down on drug counterfeiters and those among them that offer such products on the Internet. These pirates should be made to walk the plank—as they endanger ...
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Whistle-blower Ven-A-Care wins in Texas case against drug company
A Texas jury orders two subsidiaries of Icelandic pharmaceuticals company Actavis to pay $170 million for overcharging the Texas Medicaid program. The decision puts Ven-A-Care in line to receive millions in reward money.
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Obama to Fight for Lower Drug Prices?
President Obama made some statements late last week in a YouTube interview that we at RxRights found both surprising and heartening. He proposed two solutions to the problem of overpriced prescription drugs: giving the government the ability to negotiate prices with drug companies and prescription drug reimportation. While it’s hard not to be skeptical about whether ...
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Franken makes play for Medicare drug price negotiations
January 26, 2011StarTribune.com BlogPosted by Kevin Diaz Picking at one of the old scabs of the health care debate, Sen. Al Franken, D-Min., has introduced legislation that would allow the federal government to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries. The prohibition on negotiations was long a sore point among Democrats during the Bush years. But ...
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Blowing the whistle on drug firms
A tiny pharmacy in Florida has built a lucrative niche market: filing lawsuits against drug makers that overcharge Medicare and Medicaid.
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Canada Doing Something About Outrageous Drug Prices
Ever wonder why Canadian prescription drug prices are lower than those in the United States? Amongst the reasons is Canada has a “Patented Medicine Prices Review Board” that protects Canadian consumers from the outrageous prices drug manufactures want to charge. The drug Thalidomide, made by Celgene, was originally priced at $400. Over time, Celgene increased its ...
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Time for real, not symbolic, reform on Medicare Part D
January 21, 2011The Palm Beach Post – OpinionBy Rhonda Swan Now that House Republicans have voted to repeal the health care law and the theatrics on Capitol Hill are over for now, Congress can take meaningful action to reform health care reform. A bipartisan place to start would be Medicare Part D, the prescription drug program for ...
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Administration Backs Big Pharma Over Public Health
We have been reporting a lot lately on Big Pharma’s fraudulent ways. It has become abundantly clear that we can’t rely on pharmaceutical companies to make prescription drugs affordable. Now, a legal case about drug pricing is being argued in front of the Supreme Court. And the Obama Administration has come down on the side of ...
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Congressman Ron Paul Introduces Bill to Legalize Drug Re-Importation Through Online Pharmacies
January 19, 2011 PharmacyChecker.comBy Gabriel Levitt We recently reported that Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IW) voiced his vehement support for legalizing drug importation to lower brand name drug prices, in an attempt to bring greater fairness to the market. We’re now pleased to report the first bill of the year calling for the reform of our nation’s ...
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The Fraud of Big Pharma
The pharmaceutical industry has surpassed the defense industry to become the biggest defrauder of the U.S. government, according to a recent study by Public Citizen, a highly respected consumer advocacy organization. The report illustrates Big Pharma’s long history of deceitful and even illegal tactics. The majority of lawsuits filed against the drug companies stemmed from two ...
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Health Advocacy Groups Quietly Accepting Pharma Cash
We recently learned about the exorbitant amount of money Big Pharma spent on lobbying to influence health care reform. Just this past week, a new study in the American Journal of Public Health exposed the fact that pharmaceutical companies are also quietly doling out money to health advocacy organizations. Groups like the National Alliance on Mental ...
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Health Advocacy Groups Take Drug Company Cash–Often Without Full Disclosures, Report Says
January 13, 2011 ProPublica By Marian Wang We’ve reported extensively on the ties between pharmaceutical companies and the physicians they fund to speak, consult and do research. But doctors aren’t the only ones taking money from drug companies—and they’re not the only stakeholders in the field of health whose public disclosures aren’t complete. According to a new ...
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States Ask Supreme Court To Review Pay-To-Delay
January 11, 2011PharmalotBy Ed Silverman The controversy over so-called pay-to-delay settlements between brand-name and generic drugmakers has prompted attorneys general from 32 states to file an amicus, or friend-of-the-court brief urging the US Supreme Court to review the deals, which the states say thwart competition and block needed access to lower-cost medications. The move comes less than ...
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U.S. Backs Drug Firms in Lawsuit Over Prices
January 9, 2011The New York TimesBy Robert Pear The Obama administration, following a lengthy internal debate, has unexpectedly come down on the side of pharmaceutical companies that are accused of overcharging public hospitals and clinics that care for large numbers of poor people. The administration has told the Supreme Court that the hospitals and clinics cannot ...
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CMS: Healthcare spending increased to $2.5 trillion in 2009
January 6, 2011CMIO.netWritten by Editorial Staff The recession slowed healthcare spending in 2009, according to a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) report on national health expenditures. However, sectors including prescription medications and freestanding home healthcare services logged increases. Although U.S. healthcare spending increased 4 percent in 2009, this represented a drop from the 4.7 ...
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Big Pharma Shaped Health Care Reform
The pharmaceutical industry had a powerful role in shaping the recently passed Affordable Care Act. The pharmaceutical and health care products industry regularly spends exorbitant amounts of money on lobbying but they reached an all time high in lobby spending over the course of the debate. The Center for Responsive Politics reported recently that the pharmaceutical ...
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Strange Bedfellows: Big Pharma and the White House
The White House and the pharmaceutical industry are working together to eliminate prescription drug importation, under the guise of public safety. If the administration is truly concerned about the safety of prescription drugs, perhaps it should protect itself and the public from the industry by using drug importation. An unaffordable drug is neither safe nor effective! If ...
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Government Censorship Campaign to Block Affordable Drug Access
The White House has initiated a Draconian crackdown on online pharmacies that puts the health of a millions of Americans in jeopardy. American consumers’ access to sources of safe and affordable prescription drugs has been endangered before, but never before like this. Last month, Intellectual Property Czar Victoria Espinel, announced the government’s plans to completely shut ...
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Pharmaceutical industry on verge of major Hill victory
The HillDecember 12, 2010
 By Jason Millman The pharmaceutical industry is on the verge of a major victory as the lame-duck congressional session winds down. An effort to severely restrict pharmaceutical industry deals from delaying the entry to the market of low-cost generic drugs appears likely to die in the lame-duck. That could kill the legislation for ...
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Drug Makers New Targets for U.S. Fraud Inquiries, Report Says
December 16, 2010The New York TimesBy Duff Wilson Four pharmaceutical companies paid more than half of the $19.8 billion in civil and criminal settlements the last 20 years for improper billings to federal and state governments, according to a report Thursday by Public Citizen’s Health Research Group. “Step aside, defense industry, there’s a new defrauder in town,” ...
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Big Pharma Punished for Price Fixing
U.S. courts are finally starting to hold big pharmaceutical companies accountable for their longtime, underhanded practice of drug price fixing. Drug companies are currently facing lawsuits in 20 different states for reporting inflated wholesale drug prices. Companies like Bristol-Myers Squibb and Abbot Laboratories have already agreed to settlements of hundreds of millions of dollars in false ...
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Ability to Import Prescription Drugs Vital for Mental Health Patients
Prescription drug importation could make a big difference for a particular population of Americans—mental health patients. A recent study found that people on Medicaid with mental illnesses are having an especially hard time accessing their needed medications. As many as a third of patients followed in the study, which appears in a recent issue of General ...
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Conservative Researcher Advocates Decriminalizing Personal Drug Importation
An interesting article by Roger Bate, economist and drug safety expert at the American Enterprise Institute, came out yesterday calling for Republicans to
 decriminalize personal drug importation. Underscoring Mr. Bate’s position is his recognition, based on his own studies, that Americans who purchase brand name prescription drugs from non-US pharmacies can do so with confidence by ...
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Online Pharmacies, the Obama Administration and Public Health
December 13, 2010PharmacyChecker.comBy Gabriel Levitt and Margaret Rode The Obama administration is taking actions to address the illegal sale of counterfeit prescription drugs online. These efforts can benefit patients who could fall victim to rogue online pharmacies, but may also limit access to safe and affordable medication provided by non-U.S. international online pharmacies, many based in Canada. Millions ...
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More Americans Abandoning Expensive Prescription Drugs
The inflated price of prescription drugs and rising co-pays negatively impacts the health and well being of Americans. As recently reported in The Wall Street Journal, more and more people are abandoning their prescription drugs at the pharmacy due to inability to pay. Financially strapped patients should not have to choose between their needed medications and other ...
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More Balk at Cost of Prescriptions
October 12, 2010The Wall Street JournalBy Jonathan Rockoff Growing numbers of Americans with health insurance are walking away from their prescriptions at the pharmacy counter, the latest indication that efforts to contain costs may be curbing health-care consumption. A review of insurance-claims data shows that so-called abandonment—when a patient refuses to purchase or pick up a ...
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National Coalition Supports Prescription Drug Importation
prescription drug importation, international drug importation
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PhRMA quietly spends big in 2010
November 10, 2010POLITICOBy Chris Frates The drug industry spent at least $25 million protecting its friends in Congress this year, but PhRMA chief John Castellani doesn’t really want to talk about it. The trade group was instrumental in several close Democratic Senate contests, spending millions to successfully protect embattled Majority Leader Harry Reid ...
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Big Pharma Held Accountable for Selling Unsafe Drugs
Big pharmaceutical companies repeatedly name patient safety and public interest as their main points of opposition to prescription drug reimportation. Ironically, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the world’s third largest pharmaceutical company, recently admitted selling substandard drugs to Medicare and Medicaid.  GSK will pay $750 million to settle a lawsuit that charges them with knowingly producing fraudulent drugs. The ...
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Will Big Pharma Destroy the Industry It Created?
Inspired by a generation of 60-somethings and born of necessity, online drug reimportation has become literally a “virtual lifeline” for many. This lifeline is now in grave danger of being destroyed by the very industry that gave birth to its necessity. Recent activities suggest that the $80 million dollar pledge that the U.S. pharmaceutical industry ...
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Pharma “Henchbloggers”
The pharmaceutical companies in America want all the privileges and benefits of a free market without the burdens of competition. Pharma will to go to any length to insure their monopolistic stranglehold on American consumers. Recently Pharma has employed a variation on a phenomenon known as “Internet memes” targeting international online pharmacies. At its most basic ...
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The Drug Company Mantra, “Deny and Delay”
The pharmaceutical industry fixes prices, prevents reimportation, and restricts competition from generics. When called on it, they deny the charges, admit nothing, and delay by raising specious, or empty, legal arguments. A group of 17 Pharmacies, all located in California, have filed a lawsuit against 20 of our nation’s largest pharmaceutical companies. In the lawsuit, Clayworth ...
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Pharma wants to scare us about “counterfeit”
Pharma wants to scare us about “counterfeit”
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What is a Rogue Internet Pharmacy
What is a Rogue Internet Pharmacy
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Resignation of top Pharma lobbyist reveals deep corruption of health care reform process
Resignation of top Pharma lobbyist reveals deep corruption of health care reform process
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Limited Personal Importation by the Uninsured Makes Sense
Roger Bate comments on the effectiveness of Google’s decision to prevent web pharmacies dispensing drugs from abroad from advertising on its search engine.
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U.S. senate votes to maintain big pharma’s monopoly by blocking competitive imports
U.S. senate votes to maintain big pharma’s monopoly by blocking competitive imports
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Why are prescription drugs so expensive here?
In 2006, three quarters of the world’s biotechnology revenues and 82% of world R&D spending in biotechnology was in the U.S.
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What you need to know if you’re considering buying meds online
Consumer safety tips for buying medicines over the Internet
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It’s illegal, but desperate Americans are buying drugs online from Canada
The high cost of prescription drugs has left many Central Floridians scrambling for ways to afford their medications.
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Drug Prices Rose 9.1% Last Year, Ahead of Federal Health Overhaul
April 20, 2010Wall Street JournalBy Anna Wilde Mathews Drug companies sharply raised prices last year, ahead of increased rebates they must pay to Medicaid and other expenses tied to the federal health overhaul passed last month. Prices for brand-name pharmaceuticals rose 9.1% last year, the biggest increase in at least a decade, according ...
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Proposal would allow drugs from Canada to be sold in N.D., Montana
April 21, 2010Minot Daily NewsBy Jill Schramm North Dakota and Montana pharmacists would be able to import and sell prescription drugs from Canada under a two-year pilot project being proposed by Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota and Gov. Brian Schweitzer of Montana. “We hope that it would be a harbinger of a broader program that would ...
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US Senator calls on six drug majors to explain international price disparities
US Senator Kohl requested a response from six major pharmaceutical companies to answer direct questions about the drug price discrepancies.
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CIPA Named Google’s Canadian Online Pharmacy Verifier
The Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) has been awarded the important role for accrediting online pharmacy advertisements in Canada by Google AdWords.
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Governor Schweitzer Asks for Waiver to Allow Drug Imports from Canada
Montana Governor Schweitzer sent a letter to Health and Human Services asking for a Medicaid waiver to allow prescription drugs into Montana from Canada
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Counterfeit Drugs and Internet Smarts
More public education would help stem the problem of fake pharmaceuticals—restricting Internet trade would not
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PhRMA Chokes International Trade
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the leading trade organization for U.S. drug companies, does not want U.S. consumers to have a choice of where they buy their drugs.
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Big Pharma Wins Big
The U.S. drug industry fended off price curbs and other hefty restrictions in President Barack Obama’s health care law even as it prepares for plenty of new business
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Schweitzer says Canadian drugs still needed after reform
Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer is still moving forward with his plan to import cheaper medicine from Canada
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Where Are Drug Company Profits Really Going?
PhRMA keeps telling American consumers that the high cost of drugs is due to pricey research and development costs- where does all of their money go?
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Obama Restricts Access to Cheaper Prescription Drugs
When Obama signed the health care bill, he promised it would provide access to health care, but it restricts access to safe, affordable drugs from abroad.
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Google vs. the Patient
Read how brand-name pharmaceuticals, such as Lipitor and Nexium, are often half the price in Canada than they are in the United States.
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Google Censors Canadian Pharmacies Advertising in US
Google changed its online advertising policy and banned international Internet and mail-order pharmacies from displaying advertisements to Americans
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Google Censors Online Ads
Google changed its online advertising policy and banned international Internet and mail-order pharmacies from displaying advertisements to Americans
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Drug Deal in the White House
A memo that was obtained by the Huffington Post indicates that the White House outlined a commitment of up to $80 billion to PhRMA.
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Pharmaceutical monopoly, price fixing or just capitalism?
US Senator Kohl requested a response from six major pharmaceutical companies to answer direct questions about the drug price discrepancies.
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Guide to editing RxRights.org
External (outside rxrights.org) Links All links that are not rxrights.org (external) automatically open in a new window. No need to add <a href=”” target=”_blank”>. How to add another FAQ <h2 class=”title”>Question here?</h2><div class=”faqcontent”><p>Answer here</p></div> How to add html code in header If you want to add something to the head, before </head> such as javascript, you can add this ...
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FDA/National Consumers League Program on Prescription Adherence Unlikely to Tackle The Real Problem of Drug Prices
April 15, 2011 PharmacyChecker.com By Gabriel Levitt Last month the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a no contest grant to be awarded to the National Consumers League (NCL) to examine the problem of prescription adherence. The problem is one we discuss almost every week on this blog: Americans are not taking their prescribed medication. Therefore, ...
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RxRights letter to the House Judiciary Committee
RxRights has sent a letter to all House Judiciary Committee members regarding the threat that the Stop Online Privacy Act presents to public health.
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Upcoming survey regarding drug importation
RxRights is teaming up with Roger Bate of the American Enterprise Institute to shed some light on questions such as why people buy prescription drugs from international pharmacies. We have agreed to distribute and collect survey data from our supporters regarding this issue. Our email subscribers will soon receive a questionnaire ...
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