28 December 2010

Drug Companies are Costing Health Care Billions

This is interesting because it is coming from the British, specifically the British Medical Journal and the British Media. They are taking the drug industry, Big Pharma to us, to task for a campaign promoting the more expensive types of insulins. These analogue insulins for people with Type 2 diabetes are costing the British National Health Service about $390 million extra over the past five years.

They are also stating the the extra cost does not translate into equivalent benefits. They have determined that the five times of the cost when compared to conventional insulins and that published evidence did not improve glucose control or safety in Type 2 diabetes.

Even the World Health Organization is raising concerns about the more expensive analogue insulins displacing proven insulins and the way the insulin manufacturers are not producing the cheaper human insulins. With no proven cost effectiveness the companies are pushing the more expensive insulins.

In the UK analogues have about 80 percent of the market, in the USA about 70 percent, and in Europe about 60 percent of the insulin market. The two dominate analogues are detemir (Levemir) and glargine (Lantus).

So world wide, the total extra costs could be in the billions that are flowing into Big Pharma's coffers. On December 30, Nova Nordisk will end the manufacture and distribution of Mixtard 30, a well tolerated human insulin. Others will follow in removing good, cheaper insulins from the market.

This is a case of Big Pharma promotions and glitzy marketing strategies, plus the push to increase the size of profit margins at the expense of diabetes patients or taxpayers paying the costs in government health care plans. Those in the US will be forced to pay the higher costs of medical health insurance.

Read the article here.

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