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California considers selling its own generic prescriptions

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Nocturnes rest
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California considers selling its own generic prescriptions

Postby Nocturnes rest » Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:55 am

Ars Technica wrote:California could become the first state to introduce its own brand of generic prescription drugs in an effort to drag down stratospheric healthcare costs.

The plan for state-branded drugs is part of California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget proposal, which he is expected to unveil Friday, January 10.

“A trip to the doctor’s office, pharmacy or hospital shouldn’t cost a month’s pay,” Newsom said in a statement. “The cost of healthcare is just too damn high, and California is fighting back.”

A plan for California to sell its own drugs would “take the power out of the hands of greedy pharmaceutical companies,” Newsom said, according to the Associated Press.

Under the plan, the state would contract with one or more generic drug companies, which would manufacture select prescription drugs under a state-owned label, according to an overview of the plan reported by the Los Angeles Times. Those state generics would presumably be offered to Californians at a lower price than current generics, which could spark more competitive pricing in the market overall.

So far, much of the plan’s details are unclear, though, including which drugs might be sold and how much money they could save residents and the state.

The conceptual plan so far has garnered both praise and skepticism from health industry experts.

Anthony Wright, executive director of the advocacy group Health Access California, told the Associated Press that “Consumers would directly benefit if California contracted on its own to manufacture much-needed generic medications like insulin—a drug that has been around for a century yet the price has gone up over tenfold in the last few decades.”

Geoffrey Joyce, who heads the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, meanwhile, speculated to the Times that the state might end up focusing on drugs that currently have little competition—which may mean manufacturing drugs that are less commonly used. “In terms of savings to a typical family, it would be very modest,” he predicted.

Industry lobbying group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) told reporters that it was withholding comment until more details about the plan were available.

If the plan moves forward, California would be the first state to have its own drug label. But it’s not the first to try to thwart the current drug market. As the Times notes, over 1,000 hospitals in 46 states banded together in 2018 with philanthropies to form a nonprofit drug-making venture called Civica Rx. The company manufactures generic injectable drugs used in hospitals, offering lower prices and stable supplies.

In October, it delivered its first generic drug, the antibiotic Vancomycin Hydrochloride, which had been subject to shortages. “This first delivery demonstrates the Civica model in action and is a dream come true,” Martin VanTrieste, president and CEO of Civica Rx, said in a statement at the time. “We thank our founding philanthropies for prioritizing accessible and affordable healthcare.”

The company has since shipped several other essential medicines, including the blood thinner heparin and the opioid overdose rescue drug, naloxone.


Eeyup, California is taking on the drug companies the best way it has, teaming up with generics producers to make cheaper generic drugs under its own label.

I personally love the idea, as prescription drug costs are ridiculous. I'm considered disabled, and get my medications for free, but if I didn't it would cost me thousands of dollars just for the anticonvulsants on a month to month basis, and let's not get into the ever increasing costs of epipens, which I'm glad I don't need. Anything that could potentially reduce the costs of drugs is a big win in my book.

But what do you think NSG? Is California on the right track? And why are the drug pries so damn high?
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Mestovakia
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Postby Mestovakia » Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:57 am

Why are the drug prices so high? Greedy drug manufacturer executives I bet. Shkreli Syndrome.

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Postby Telconi » Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:00 am

Holy shit, let's hope not.
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The Grims
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Postby The Grims » Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:11 am

Why are drug prices so high?
Because why sell something for 2 dollars when you can also ask 20.000 and the sick are forced to pay?

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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:16 am

I thought the point of generics was to be much cheaper. No longer carrying R&D and marketing costs. So how can they be so overpriced in the US?
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-Astoria
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Postby -Astoria » Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:18 am

Likely a good thing, this.

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The Grims
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Postby The Grims » Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:18 am

Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:I thought the point of generics was to be much cheaper. No longer carrying R&D and marketing costs. So how can they be so overpriced in the US?

Because that is nit how the free market works. People claim it causes quality to rise and prices to drop due to competition but that is the opposite of what happens in the real world.

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Postby Neu California » Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:23 am

Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:I thought the point of generics was to be much cheaper. No longer carrying R&D and marketing costs. So how can they be so overpriced in the US?

There have been accusations of collusion and other shenanigans thrown around regarding the generics market. Plus you get those cases where there is only one manufacturer of a specific generic and they decide to Jack up the prices (Shkreli et al)
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:27 am

The Grims wrote:
Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:I thought the point of generics was to be much cheaper. No longer carrying R&D and marketing costs. So how can they be so overpriced in the US?

Because that is nit how the free market works. People claim it causes quality to rise and prices to drop due to competition but that is the opposite of what happens in the real world.

The US isn't banning imports is it? That would drastically limit competition.

And btw, competition does work to keep down prices, but contrary to free-marketarians ideas it's government regulation that keeps competition fair.
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Postby Chan Island » Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:42 am

A plaster for the gaping wound that is not having universal healthcare. Come back when the discussion is about implementing some form of medicare for all.
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Postby The New California Republic » Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:52 am

Chan Island wrote:A plaster for the gaping wound that is not having universal healthcare. Come back when the discussion is about implementing some form of medicare for all.

It's a good start, but essentially this.
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Postby Page » Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:25 am

It's a good first step. I think medicine should be completely nationalized and health insurance should cease to exist entirely, but that isn't likely to happen any time soon in America. At least we have a fighting chance at Medicare for All.
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Postby Saiwania » Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:58 am

Drug prices in the US are higher because the US has better patent/IP protections than other countries. It is fair game that a newly innovative product can have a monopoly for a limited time. Just that no one agrees how long that should be granted for or to what extent the maker should be allowed to profit to recoup R&D costs and more beyond that.

The US by default, lets big business have their way if major corporations are the biggest donors to lobbyists.
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Postby Aclion » Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:03 am

Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:I thought the point of generics was to be much cheaper. No longer carrying R&D and marketing costs. So how can they be so overpriced in the US?

Lack of competition. It's next to impossible for new manufactures to get approval to enter the market even for a generic drug, so the existing ones have an effective monopoly.
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Postby The Notorious Mad Jack » Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:19 am

This would be an excellent move in the best interests of everyone but the big pharma companies.

Watch it not happen.
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Postby Ifreann » Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:31 am

Making healthcare free at the point of access would be better, but that's not particularly likely to happen any time soon, so this is a good measure to pursue in the interim.
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Postby Novus America » Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:46 am

Seems like an interesting idea. This is the advantage of giving states the ability to run their own systems. It gives them the freedom to try new things. If it works then other states can try it, if it fails it will not harm the whole country.
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Postby -Ocelot- » Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:01 am

Healthcare in the US is a big legalized scam. Everything is overpriced beyond any reason, life expectancy is going down, poor people can't afford insulin etc. Regardless of what ideology you subscribe to, it makes no sense for a nation as rich as the US to be unable to provide ducking insulin to all diabetics. Much poorer countries have no trouble doing so.
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Postby The East Marches II » Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:02 am

If it works, it isn't stupid. If it fails, then its on them. Lets see if it actually works.
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Postby Novus America » Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:03 am

The East Marches II wrote:If it works, it isn't stupid. If it fails, then its on them. Lets see if it actually works.


Exactly. This is the beauty of federalism.
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Postby -Astoria » Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:03 am

-Ocelot- wrote:Regardless of what ideology you subscribe to, it makes no sense for a nation as rich as the US to be unable to provide ducking insulin to all diabetics. Much poorer countries have no trouble doing so.

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Postby Ifreann » Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:14 am

-Ocelot- wrote:Healthcare in the US is a big legalized scam. Everything is overpriced beyond any reason, life expectancy is going down, poor people can't afford insulin etc. Regardless of what ideology you subscribe to, it makes no sense for a nation as rich as the US to be unable to provide ducking insulin to all diabetics. Much poorer countries have no trouble doing so.

America isn't unable to provide people with insulin. It is unwilling.
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Postby Tombradyonia » Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:16 am

The Grims wrote:
Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:I thought the point of generics was to be much cheaper. No longer carrying R&D and marketing costs. So how can they be so overpriced in the US?

Because that is nit how the free market works. People claim it causes quality to rise and prices to drop due to competition but that is the opposite of what happens in the real world.


There's always been a huge chasm between how free markets work in theory and how they work in reality.

There's good reason for having at least a significant government involvement in the healthcare market. Why? Because quite simply put, it is not in the market's interest to cure diseases or to prevent them. There's no profit in that. The profit is in having people pop pills for life. The profit is in getting you addicted to prescription drugs and then them jacking up the price for the benefit of the investors and executives.

I for one applaud any measure that breaks the malign healthcare corporation stranglehold on the socalled 'market' which in reality is nothing of the kind.

Ifreann wrote:
-Ocelot- wrote:Healthcare in the US is a big legalized scam. Everything is overpriced beyond any reason, life expectancy is going down, poor people can't afford insulin etc. Regardless of what ideology you subscribe to, it makes no sense for a nation as rich as the US to be unable to provide ducking insulin to all diabetics. Much poorer countries have no trouble doing so.

America isn't unable to provide people with insulin. It is unwilling.


It's the politicians. Especially the ones who proclaim to love the free market whilst supporting the current situation which is nothing like anything that can be called a free market.
In a true free market, Americans could buy pills and stuff abroad where they are cheaper. But politicians passed laws making that partially illegal. Politicians who get kickbacks from the healthcare corporations.
Last edited by Tombradyonia on Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Novus America » Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:20 am

Ifreann wrote:
-Ocelot- wrote:Healthcare in the US is a big legalized scam. Everything is overpriced beyond any reason, life expectancy is going down, poor people can't afford insulin etc. Regardless of what ideology you subscribe to, it makes no sense for a nation as rich as the US to be unable to provide ducking insulin to all diabetics. Much poorer countries have no trouble doing so.

America isn't unable to provide people with insulin. It is unwilling.


Correction. It is unwilling to provide everyone with it. But does provide most people with it. The US actually has massive government involvement in healthcare and spends far more on healthcare than defense. Contrary to popular belief. The problem is that the there is poor coordination and varying eligibility amongst the different systems the cover most people, but not everyone.
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Think something like prewar Fallout, minus the bad stuff.

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Postby Tombradyonia » Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:25 am

Novus America wrote:
Ifreann wrote:America isn't unable to provide people with insulin. It is unwilling.


Correction. It is unwilling to provide everyone with it. But does provide most people with it. The US actually has massive government involvement in healthcare and spends far more on healthcare than defense. Contrary to popular belief. The problem is that the there is poor coordination and varying eligibility amongst the different systems the cover most people, but not everyone.


We spend more per capita than basically any other western country.
A big part of the reason for that is that often pill X, which you could get for $1 in Canada or the UK, costs $100 over here.

I also hear these healthcare corporations often plead poverty, or how they have to spend on R&D. IIRC they hardly spend 15% of their budget on R&D, and many patents they own were initially government owned and sold to them by politicians who were likely bribed with campaign contributions.
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