I, google. (HT: Tyler)
The big pharmaceutical with a blockbuster drug gets to have the only product on the market for a little longer. It also doesn’t have to deal with price competition. The FDA estimates generics usually cost 80 to 85 percent less than brand-name drugs — not great news for the maker of the brand-name medication.
As for the generic drug maker, it has to hold off on coming into a given market — but it also gets a settlement from a pharmaceutical, often in the millions. Not a shabby deal either.
The Federal Trade Commission, which brought the suit, has a completely different take. It argues that this is horrible for consumers, who end up with higher drug prices as generics stay off the market longer than they otherwise would. With more than a dozen pay-for-delay deals struck annually, the FTC estimates that these settlements will cost consumers $35 billion.
More from Sarah Kliff.
Women have hormonal cycles, smaller organs, higher body fat composition — all of which are thought to play a role in how drugs affect our bodies. We also have basic differences in gene expression, which can make differences in the way we metabolize drugs. For example, men metabolize caffeine more quickly, while women metabolize certain antibiotics and anxiety medications more quickly. In some cases, drugs work less effectively depending on sex; women are less responsive to anesthesia and ibuprofen for instance. In other cases, women are at more risk for adverse — even lethal — side effects.
Source: The New York Times.
In 10 years, the number of CT and MRI scans per beneficiary more than doubled; hip replacements increased by 36 percent between 1997 and 2007. One out of three Medicare beneficiaries now has at least one surgery in the year of his or her death; even 20 percent of 90-year-olds do! The average 75-year-old is on five prescription drugs. Here’s a fact you rarely hear about Medicare: Annual spending just on those in excellent or very good health was an astonishing $5,437 per person in 2008.
View entire editorial in the Washington Post.
Walgreens is now contracting with hospitals to eliminate conflicting prescriptions on discharge, and then the pharmacy will follow up with patients to make sure they understand all their medications and take them properly when they get home.
Source: Kaiser Health News.