Regarding the article “5 things to watch in the Senate’s major drug price hearing,” I have been a hospital pharmacy director for 25 years, first at a 500-bed teaching hospital and then a 150-bed community hospital. What I have struggled with over the years is how prices for the same drug can vary so much between average wholesale price versus wholesaler acquisition cost versus GPO versus 340B. Throw in there another price difference between what Europe or Canada can buy the same identical drug for and I am at a loss to explain why prices can vary up to 200% (or more).
The playing field needs to be leveled, and those with private insurance or cash should not be adversely “taxed” on how much they pay versus another consumer. I can understand price variances up to 20% for market share adjustments or contractual guarantees to use product X versus product Y, but I can’t understand the huge swings in prices that the VA might pay versus another agency versus a private hospital or retail drugstore.
Also, why do drug manufacturers get a tax break on direct-to-consumer advertising? This is nothing more than pushing higher-cost meds on consumers when lower-cost generics potentially can be just as effective.