EpiPen, Humira among drugs Warren wants to regulate

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren's plans to transition the country to a "Medicare for All" model include mention of seven specific drugs or categories of drugs that she plans to target to "dramatically lower" prices if elected. 

The seven drugs Ms. Warren named: 

  1. Insulin —  According to Ms. Warren, insulin costs are too high because three drug companies — Novo Nordisk, Sanofi and Eli Lilly —  dominate the market and jack up prices. She added that insulin can be profitably developed for $72 a year and wrote that she will use "existing authorities to contract for manufacture of affordable insulin for all Americans."

  2. EpiPens — Ms. Warren said that lack of competition allowed Mylan to increase prices for EpiPens by 400 percent. "As president, I will use existing authorities to produce affordable epinephrine injectors for Americans (and especially children) who need it," Ms. Warren wrote.

  3. Naloxone — Ms. Warren wrote that naloxone products like ADAPT Pharma's Narcan nasal spray and Kaléo's Evzio auto-injector are "outrageously expensive."  She added that, if elected, her administration "will use its compulsory licensing authority to facilitate production of low-cost naloxone products so first responders and community members can save lives."

  4. Humira — According to Ms. Warren, Medicaid and Medicare spent more than $4.2 billion on Humira in 2017. "My administration will pursue antitrust action against AbbVie and other drug companies that pursue blatantly anti-competitive behavior, and, if necessary, use compulsory licensing authority to facilitate production, saving taxpayers billions," she wrote.

  5. Hepatitis C drugs — Ms. Warren wrote that Hepatitis C drugs such as Gilead's Harvoni are "miracle" drugs, but are too expensive for many people living with the disease. "One estimate suggests that by using compulsory licensing, the federal government could treat all Americans with Hepatitis C for $4.5 billion  — just 2 percent of the $234 billion it would otherwise cost. That is exactly what I will do," Ms. Warren wrote.

  6. Truvada — According to Ms. Warren, a million Americans could benefit from Truvada, designed to prevent HIV, but only a fraction do, largely because it costs $2,000 a month.

  7. Antibiotics — Ms. Warren wrote that the U.S. is in "desperate need" of new antibiotics to combat resistant infections, but antibiotics don't generate much money, which discouraged drugmakers from developing them. 

More articles on pharmacy:
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How Walgreens, CVS see the future of pharmacy

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