US Drug Companies Need Competition .pdf
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U.S. Drug Companies Need Competition
February 8, 2018
Anyone who has spent any amount of money on prescriptions knows that they’re ridiculously
expensive. This letter to the editor shows how U.S. pharmaceutical companies are really
lagging behind other parts of the world when it comes to competition.
Unfortunately for people with autoimmune diseases like psoriasis, there’s almost no
competition in the biologics area.
Biologics are heavily advertised and very expensive specialty medications that have radically
changed the treatment course for a range of conditions, from cancer to autoimmune disorders.
Biologics can cost from $1,000 to $100,000 per month. Here in the U.S., biologics account for
just 2 percent of prescription drug utilization, but amount to 40 percent of prescription drug
spending, and the percentage is rising.
The U.S. lags many parts of the world when it comes to bringing biosimilars to market. Just a few
biosimilars are available here. In Europe, where the first biosimilar was approved for use in 2006,
there now are 28 biosimilars available for a variety of conditions. They are safe, effective and
affordable alternatives to their high-priced biologic counterparts. According to the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration, patients can expect a biosimilar to produce a result that’s similar to the
result produced by its comparable biologic.
Remicade is a biologic produced by Johnson & Johnson to treat inflammatory conditions,
including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s disease, plaque
psoriasis and ulcerative colitis. In the United States, the average annual cost of Remicade is
$28,000 per patient. Johnson & Johnson has raised the price of Remicade by 57 percent over the
past five years (many of those years had two price increases).
Source: Letter: U.S. drug companies need competition
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