Big Pharma, anyone???

****Caution: There may be Foul Language Ahead****

So, I have been seeing much discussion lately about Big Pharma aka Pharmaceutical companies that make all the “wonderful” medications, vaccines, chemo drugs that Americans need to survive….

Anyways….the discussion of late has been the increase of the EpiPen.  The EpiPen is needed for individuals who are having an anaphylaxis event….usually due to an allergy to bees, peanuts, etc..

The price of these said EpiPens have increased to over $600 for two….a cost that most Americans cannot easily afford.  So what do they do?? I hope that the majority of us believe that LIFE is worth more than $600.

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The thing is…..this price gouging of life saving medications is nothing new.  Last year there was the Martin Shkreli price gouging of Daraprim (live saving medication for Malaria) or J Michael Pearson’s price gouging of Syprine (for Wilson’s Disease) went from a copay of $700/yr to over $10,000/yr.

What IS new this time??? The CEO of Mylan Pharmaceuticals is Heather Bresch.  Ms Bresch is the daughter of Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.  Hmmmm….sounds a bit scandalous if you ask me.  AND….the EpiPen affects more people.  That, in turn makes a louder outcry when insane gouging of life saving drugs occurs.  Poor choice Ms Bresch.  You have officially pissed off millions of Americans.

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And the response from Mylan Pharma is that the increase of the EpiPen listing price is necessary for the company to recoup it’s investment in acquiring this drug.  Huh??  Here’s an idea…..that most business minded people can understand….you make your business cuts in other areas.  How about the lofty salary that you make??  (Heather Bresch’s income for 2015 was $25.82 million dollars!!!)

Quite honestly, the best shifting of blame that I have heard from Big Pharma is that the insurance companies have decreased the amounts that they cover, therefore the patients/customers must pay more at the Pharmacy counter.  Well shit!  Someone has to pay for those lofty annual CEO salaries…..might as well be the patient who needs the med, right?????

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So, why do I give a shit about any of this? I have seen and felt the impact of costly life saving medications being too expensive.  Three years ago we battled with our insurance company to get a very costly chemotherapy med approved for Zayla.  It was excruciating the amount of time, effort and tears that I endured trying to get this medication.  Today?? I am angry.  Angry that NOTHING has changed.  In fact, things have gotten worse.  Life saving medications should not be priced to the point that people cannot afford them.  Period.

Healthcare and medications should be made available to everyone.  Period.

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Why are we not outraged that CEO’s make OBSCENE amounts of money???  Are the CEO’s making the drugs??? Ha! Don’t think so.  You have scientists and doctors that painstakingly spend countless hours researching to find better treatments.  Yet, we are all at the mercy of Big Pharma AND our government to get the cures we need.

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Something needs to change.

Here’s a little glimpse of reality…..Big Pharma CEO’s salaries:

  1. Len Schleifer, Regeneron, $41.97 million dollars
  2. Jeffrey Leiden, Vertex Pharm, $36.64 million dollars
  3. Brent Saunders, Allergan, $36.61 million dollars
  4. Martine Rothblatt, United Therapeutics, $33.21 million dollars
  5. Lamberto Andreotti, Bristol Myers Squibb, $27.06 million dollars
  6. Heather Bresch, Mylan, $25.82 million dollars
  7. Kenneth Frazier, Merck & Co., $25.03 million dollars
  8. Alex Gorsky, Johnson & Johnson, $24.99 million dollars
  9. Robert Hugin, Celgene, $24.24 million dollars
  10. Ian Read, Pfizer, $23.28 million dollars

Total bank for the top 10 is $298.85 million dollars last year.  That is INSANE!!!

So, go ahead and tell me….how do we not blame Big Pharma??

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If my daughter’s brain cancer would have been more profitable one of these Big Pharma companies MAY have researched more and perhaps found a cure.  But you see…..childhood cancer is NOT profitable.  There just isn’t enough sick kids.  Not enough deaths.  Instead?  We will keep the revolving door going…..so these big Pharma companies can get there payday.  Because that is what matters in America, right??? The Almighty dollar.

Screw you Big Pharma.

Miss you baby girl.  Every day.  Every minute.

One comment

  1. Michelle Cottingim · August 26, 2016

    Chris
    Couldnt agree more. I really have nothing to say. I feel we on healthcare have our hands tied, and as consumers we are screwed. However, what I wanted to say is that is a BEAUTIFUL picture of Zayla. Hugs to you and Jason and the girls. You have been writing some amazing words lately
    I hope it is helping, I believe you are helping so many other’s as well.

    Like

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