Jan 31, 2016

A letter from Senator Wyden to drug giant Gilead

We’ve posted several articles/editorials about high and seemingly eternally rising drug costs. Doctors, patients, and more recently, the U.S. Senate has weighed in. Will any of this make a difference?

In December, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee released a study showing the drug company Gilead didn’t consider affordability to patients when setting the price of a new Hepatitis C medication at $1,000 a pill. This kind of cost is not uncommon.

In a rather long open letter to drug manufacturer Gilead, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Senator Ron Wyden and Member Senator Charles Grassle ask a long series of questions about the drug, drug development, drug pricing, marketing costs, conflicts of interest, and much more.

Although this study focused on a single drug, the concern covers the spectrum of new drugs across the drug industry. The letter doesn’t offer solutions but asked for openness in price setting and ways to manage patient access to the new super-expensive drugs. It is a plea for transparency in the entire drug creation process. Who does what, who knows what, who gets paid for what, etc.

We ask you to click on the open letter link to see all the questions, comments, and requests.


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(c) 2012 Tom Beer and Larry Axmaker

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