FTDD

We “follow the drug money” and expose Ohio organizations and individuals, including doctors, high officials in state government and patient advocacy groups, who have developed cozy financial ties with the hugely profitable drug industry.

Some of these people and groups are the drug industry’s top paid mercenaries, giving a veneer of respectability to what is just a naked attempt by Big Pharma to protect its profiteering and obscene profits.

news

FOLLOW THE DRUG DOLLARS: BREAKING NEWS

OxyContin-Maker Sued for Ignoring Signs of Pill Mill

Washington state’s top lawyer is suing Purdue Pharma, alleging it misled doctors and consumers about the addictive dangers of OxyContin, Purdue’s top-selling opioid.

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Two Giant Drug Companies Cut A Deal, You Lose

When Amgen won FDA approvals to make a drug that mimicked Humira, Abbvie’s blockbuster drug for treating rheumatoid arthritis, Crohns and ulcerative colitis, Abbvie sued, claiming Amgen was violating its patent protections. But the two drug giants quickly reached an agreement: in which Amgen got the greenlight to sell its drug in Europe and agreed not to make its drug available in the U.S. until 2023 – bad news for U.S. consumers.

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Will Insulin Become the Next EpiPen?

It’s beginning to look like insulin may become the next EpiPen – in other words, a giant public relations headache. Last weekend, demonstrators with signs saying “your prices are killing us” gathered outside Eli Lilly’s corporate headquarters in Indianapolis to protest the spike in price for Lilly’s insulin medication.

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Doctors Urged to Stop Prescribing Cough Syrup with Codeine for Kids

It’s been debated for decades, and now an advisory group of pediatricians has recommended that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially warn doctors not to prescribe cough syrup with opioids (codeine or hydrocodone) for kids between the ages of 12 and 18. The group said the health risks for youngsters taking such medicines were significant while there is little evidence cough syrups actually work.

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Inventing Cancer Drugs Much Cheaper Than Drug Companies Claim

A new study has punched a gaping hole in the drug industry argument that its cancer drugs cost so much because it costs so much to invent these drugs. The study looked at the R&D costs to develop ten cancer drugs and came up with a median figure of $757 million, or about one-fourth the $2.7 billion cost often cited by the drug industry.

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Mother Testifies: Drug Company “Corporate Greed” Killed Her Daughter

Testifying before a U.S. Senate panel, the mother of a 32-year-old New Jersey woman who overdosed on an opioid prescription drug blamed “corporate greed” for her daughter’s death.

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U.S. CONSUMERS PAY $84,000 FOR A DRUG THAT EGYPTIANS PAY $83!

Sovaldi, the hepatitis C wonder drug, sells for $84,000 in the U.S. but for only $83 in Egypt, says the British tabloid the Daily Mail. The newspaper also reports Egyptian entrepreneurs are providing round-trip air fare to Egypt, a five day tour of the countryside and a Sovaldi cure for $7,000 to foreigners.

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HOW LOW WILL A DRUG CO SINK TO SELL ITS DRUG? THIS LOW…

Pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk has agreed to pay $58.65 million to settle allegations it trained its sales force to downplay the potential cancer risks of Victoza, its blockbuster diabetes drug.

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$97.6M PAY DEAL FOR MYLAN BOSS?

Will Myan Inc., the controversial maker of the EpiPen, will honor its shareholders who voted to urge the company to rescind its decision to pay Mylan’s board chairman Robert J. Coury $97.6 million in 2016?

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DOES $500,000 FOR A NEW DRUG SOUND REASONABLE?

Gilead Sciences could find itself facing a public backlash about the price of its new gene therapy drug. The price tag, according to Bloomberg News, could be $500,000 for this drug that fights aggressive blood cancer.

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FDA TO MYLAN: HUNDREDS OF YOUR EPIPENS FAILED TO WORK

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accused Pfizer  Inc. of inadequately investigating  “hundreds of complaints” that EpiPens “failed to operate during life-threatening emergencies, including some situations in which patients subsequently died.

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EPIPEN’S CHAIR DOESN’T CARE ABOUT CONSUMERS

After a New York Times Pulitizer Prize-winning reporter couldn’t find Mylan’s touted cheaper version of its EpiPen for his kid, he began digging and found the controversial company’s effective monopoly on a life-saving product is impervious to consumer outrage.

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TOO MANY DIE BECAUSE THEY CAN’T AFFORD THEIR PRESCRIBED DRUGS

An estimated 125,000 Americans die yearly because they don’t take the drugs their doctors prescribe for them or fail to take the correct dosage. It’s called non-adherence. Studies show, for example, that 20-30 percent of prescriptions are never filled. One big explanation for this seeming paradox – patients can’t afford the drugs.

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DRUG PRICE INCREASES HAMMER TAXPAYERS

Medicaid’s cost to buy 313 brand name drugs increased by $3.2 billion in 2016. The price Medicaid paid for 67 generics went up $258 million. Ultimately, it’s taxpayers who pay Medicaid’s drug bills.

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NEW MEXICO FILES SUIT AGAINST OPIOID MAKERS, WHOLESALERS

The New Mexico attorney general’s office accused major manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioid medication of exacerbating the state’s drug crisis by falsely downplaying addiction risks and failing to monitor suspect prescriptions, in a lawsuit filed Thursday in state district court.

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EPIPEN MAKER FAILED TO INVESTIGATE PRODUCT FLAWS ASSOCIATED WITH PATIENT DEATHS, FDA SAYS

The makers of the EpiPen failed to properly investigate more than 100 complaints that the device malfunctioned during life-threatening emergencies — including situations in which patients later died, according to a Food and Drug Administration warning letter.

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HEPATITIS C: ANOTHER “CHILD” OF THE DRUG INDUSTRY

PhRMA’s own opioid drug makers, like Purdue, Teva and Johnson & Johnson, now have more blood on their hands. Because of the opioid and heroin epidemic these drug companies fueled, the U.S. now has a growing hepatitis C epidemic, shared dirty needles being a prime vehicle for spreading this disease.

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DRUG COMPANIES SUE TO BLOCK NEVADA’S NOVEL DRUG PRICE TRANSPARENCY LAW

Two drug industry trade groups this week sued to block the innovative Nevada law that requires insulin makers to explain any over-the-top price increase they try to charge diabetes sufferers. Nevada’s GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval said he would defend the law he signed. The law requires insulin makers Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly and Sanofi to publicly explain any price increases that exceed the medical component of the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

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MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS DRUG PRICES: UP 531% SINCE 2004

Multiple Sclerosis drugs that cost $16,000 in 2004 now average $83,688. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society reports that seven companies make drugs to treat MS yet their “competition” has not reduced prices, that MS drug prices in the U.S. remain “two to three times higher than in comparable countries” and that price increases have continued “despite Congressional and media scrutiny” of several price-gouging scandals (think EpiPen and Martin Shkreli) in 2016 and 2017.

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DRUG COMPANIES HIKE POLITICAL SPENDING

With the public boiling mad about drug prices, the drug companies are showering campaign money on Washington D.C. lawmakers to gain their support if there’s a big vote on popular drug price reform legislation in Congress later this year. Drug company contributions to Congress rose 11 percent in the first quarter of 2016, compared to the first three months of 2015 (the comparable point in the previous election cycle). “The stakes are really high right now,” one observer told Kaiser Health News.

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DRUG COMPANY LOBBYISTS AND HUGE PROFITS MEAN FAMILIES PAY BIG BUCKS

A new report issued by Case Western Reserve University Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Law Maxwell J. Mehlman finds that voting Yes on Issue 2, the Ohio Drug Price Relief Act, could save hundreds of millions of dollars for Ohioans. 

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ISSUE 2 SUPPORTERS DENOUNCE OPPONENTS FOR WAGING SECRETIVE CAMPAIGN

The Yes on Issue 2 spokesman today accused the drug companies of running a secretive campaign to defeat Issue 2, the measure on the November ballot to put the brakes on skyrocketing drug prices.

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INVESTIGATORS SAY MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS DRUG PRICES ARE SUSPICIOUS

Two congressmen suspect the makers of multiple sclerosis drugs are engaged in “shadow pricing” – in other words, when one company raises its prices, its competitors do the same. The result is MS drugs are almost identical in price, no matter who’s selling them. Next stop for the probe: price-fixing? And that’s illegal.

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MORE DRUGMAKERS GET SUBPOENAS FROM MISSOURI ATTORNEY GENERAL

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley subpoenas seven more drug makers to answer for the manipulative way they push painkillers to the general public. With 20+ states fighting back against the pharmaceutical cartel, are we about to see a massive change to drug industry regulations?

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PIONEERING CANCER DRUG, JUST APPROVED, TO COST $475,000 — ANALYSTS CALL IT A BARGAIN

New $475,000 cancer treatment offers new hope only to very wealthy, yet analysts still have the nerve to call the price “more than fair.” Half a million dollar price tags are beyond out of touch with the working class; they’re downright criminal.

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ISSUE 2 FILES COMPLAINT TO REVEAL WHO’S FUNDING ITS OPPONENT

The Yes on Issue 2 campaign today filed an official complaint demanding that opponents of their measure be forced to drop their secretive shell game and publicly disclose the names of the drug companies that are financing the fight against Issue 2, the measure on the November ballot to put the brakes on skyrocketing drug prices.

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OHIO DOCTORS RAKE IN BIG BUCKS PARTNERING WITH OPIATE DRUG-MAKERS

Dr. Riad Laham, a Cleveland physician, fired off a letter to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 2012 defending the use of opioid-based drugs to deal with his patients’ pains and criticizing medical colleagues who were concerned the over-prescription of such drugs was fueling Ohio’s increasingly deadly opioid epidemic.

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37 MEGA DRUG COMPANIES FUND NO ON ISSUE 2 CAMPAIGN

With the opponents of Issue 2 keeping Ohio in the dark about who is bankrolling their campaign, supporters of the November ballot measure Friday released the names of 37 drug companies that belong to the industry trade group opposing Issue 2.

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doctors

FOLLOW THE DRUG DOLLARS: DOCTORS

15 OHIO DOCTORS WHO MAKE A SWEET LIVING AS DRUG INDUSTRY PITCHMEN

Meanwhile Ohioans Struggle to Pay for Rising Drug Prices

COLUMBUS – Public records show dozens of Ohio doctors during 2016 were each paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by drug companies to moonlight as virtual salespersons for the companies’ overpriced drugs. The same companies also paid for hundreds of meals, drinks, hotel rooms and air plane tickets for these doctors.

As spokesman for Issue 2, the November 2017 Ohio ballot measure to lower drug prices, said voters need to be aware of how much money the drug industry spends to influence the medical community.

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lawbreakers-bankroll-no-on-sixone

FOLLOW THE DRUG DOLLARS: DRUG COMPANY FINES

Drug companies have a problem following the law. Now those same companies are bankrolling the opposition to Issue 2.

COMPANY
AND
YEAR

Pfizer, Inc. (2004, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2016)**

GlaxoSmithKline (2005, 2010 and 2012)

Johnson & Johnson (2013)

Abbott Laboratories (Abbvie Inc.) (2012)

Eli Lilly and Co. (2009)

AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, LP (2003 and 2010)

Amgen Inc. (2012)

EMD Serono, Inc. (2005)

Merck & Co., Inc. (2008)

Purdue Pharma, LP (2007)***

Allergan, PLC (2010)

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (2007)

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. (2010)

Bayer Corp. (2001 and 2003)

Sanofi-Aventis U.S., LLC (2009 and 2012)

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (2012)

Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. (2015)

Novo Nordisk, Inc. (2011 and 2011)

Eisai, Inc. (2010)

Astellas Pharma US, Inc. (2014)

Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals (2013)

Biogen (2015)

TOTAL

SETTLEMENTS/FINES FOR VIOLATING FEDERAL LAWS*

$4.1 Billion

$4 Billion

$2.2 Billion

$1.5 Billion

$1.4 Billion

$875 Million

$762 Million

$704 Million

$650 Million

$634.5 Million

$600 Million

$515 Million

$423 Million

$271 Million

$204.5 Million

$95 Million

$39 Million

$28 Million

$11 Million

$7.3 Million

$3.5 Million

$1.5 Million

$19.02 Billion

CONTRIBUTIONS TO NO ON 61 CAMPAIGN (AS OF 6/24/16)

$5,860,000

$2,880,000

$5,860,000

$4,265,000

$2,880,000

$4,265,000

$4,265,000

$385,000

$5,860,000

$1,105,000

$2,880,000

$2,880,000

$2,880,000

$1,150,000

$4,265,00

$1,105,000

$385,000

$2,880,000

$385,000

$1,105,000

$385,000

$2,880,000

$56,540,000

(source: US Department of Justice)