I was in the Netherlands at a science meeting (Yep ProfG let’s me out occasionally) and a pharma (marketing) person gave a presentation.
They were there for the people with MS and it wasn’t all about the money. Now the Dutch are not known for their tact and tend to say it how it is, from their prospective, and “mushroom food” was uttered.
I think Jeffery J in the audience said
“It’s all about the money, money, money
We just need your money, money, money
Let’s help the MS world dance,
But It’s all about the price tag
It’s about the (uh) ch-ch-ching ch-ching
It’s about the (yeah) bl-bling-bl-bling
Let’s help the MS world dance,
But it’s all about the price tag (OK)”
There is no doubt that pharma involvement has made a big difference to the MS World, indeed there are the treatments but there are MS nurses that have come into being because of pharma.
However, they are a business and profit margins are part of the deal.
To be fair to the speaker in the NL they are correct that the media headlines seldom says good things about them. But profit is indeed part of the motive.
From personal experience, developing new symptomatic treatments is not going to be easy as their price tag is too low to get the juices of CEO’s going. Our attempt to get a new drug failed in part because of this.
So remember if academics get there first with a cheap neurorptoective and/or repair agent, in the long-term it is not going to be good news as pharma will disengage and go where the grass is greener or is that where the cash is greener.
Yep Pharma is most interested in the Greenback and there (USA) it is evident that there is no true price competition in the pharma world. This particulalrly evident with MS drugs.
Competition and price among brand-name drugs in the same class: A systematic review of the evidence. Sarpatwari A, DiBello J, Zakarian M, Najafzadeh M, Kesselheim AS. PLoS Med. 2019 Jul 30;16(7):e1002872.
BACKGROUND:Some experts have proposed combating rising drug prices by promoting brand-brand competition, a situation that is supposed to arise when multiple US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved brand-name products in the same class are indicated for the same condition. However, numerous reports exist of price increases following the introduction of brand-name competition, suggesting that it may not be effective. We performed a systematic literature review of the peer-reviewed health policy and economics literature to better understand the interplay between new drug entry and intraclass drug prices.
METHODS AND FINDINGS:We searched PubMed and EconLit for original studies on brand-brand competition in the US market published in English between January 1990 and April 2019. We performed a qualitative synthesis of each study’s data, recording its primary objective, methodology, and results. We found 10 empirical investigations, with 1 study each on antihypertensives, anti-infectives, central nervous system stimulants for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, disease-modifying therapies for multiple sclerosis, histamine-2 (H2) blockers, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors; 2 studies on cancer medications; and 2 studies on all marketed or new drugs. None of the studies reported that brand-brand competition lowers list prices of existing drugs within a class. The findings of 2 studies suggest that such competition may help restrain how new drug prices are set. Other studies found evidence that brand-brand competition was mediated by the relative quality of competing drugs and the extent to which they are marketed, with safer or more effective new drugs and greater marketing associated with higher intraclass list prices. Our investigation was limited by the studies’ use of list rather than net prices and the age of some of the data.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that policies to promote brand-brand competition in the US pharmaceutical market, such as accelerating approval of non-first-in-class drugs, will likely not result in lower drug list prices absent additional structural reforms.
Tony Fonda or perhaps some other reader, will chip in here but academics (myself-included) are really naive when it comes to the world of businesss, drug pricing, and development of treatments.
It’s about the money, money, money Yeah the Money Money, Money loop