Good Day BIO: Who gets money spent on brand-name drugs?
January 11, 2022
New data shows that more than half of total spending on brand-name medicines goes to the supply chain and other stakeholders—and brand-name drug prices actually fell last year. We take a closer look, plus review two new studies that show the devastating health impacts…
The only newsletter at the intersection of biotech, politics, and policy
January 11, 2022
New data shows that more than half of total spending on brand-name medicines goes to the supply chain and other stakeholders—and brand-name drug prices actually fell last year. We take a closer look, plus review two new studies that show the devastating health impacts of air pollution. (733 words, 3 minutes, 39 seconds)
Who gets the money spent on brand-name drugs?
More than half of total spending on brand-name medicines in 2020 went to “nonmanufacturer stakeholders—including PBMs, health plans, hospitals, the government, pharmacies, and others,” says a new report from Berkeley Research Group (BRG), the latest evidence that drug price controls aren’t the solution for controlling health care costs.
Why it matters: “If lawmakers want to make care more affordable and accessible for patients in 2021 then drug price controls are far from the starting point,” concludes John. “These policies will do more harm than good and punish an industry—and the patients it helps—that has been both stable and critical during the fight against COVID-19.”
Bloomberg: Alnylam’s CEO is ready to take over from a biotech legend
“Under [John] Maraganore, Alnylam turned RNA interference—a Nobel Prize-winning technology that silences disease-causing genes—from an idea into four approved drugs. It will be up to [Yvonne] Greenstreet to realize Alnylam’s grander ambitions: developing treatments for more common conditions such as hypertension and diabetes, becoming a top-five biotech and ultimately turning a profit.”
The New York Times: In a first, man receives a heart from a genetically altered pig
“The breakthrough may lead one day to new supplies of animal organs for transplant into human patients.”
Air pollution led to 1.8 million excess deaths in 2019
Air pollution is causing excess disease and death, according to two recent studies—more evidence of the need to lean into biotech solutions that can reduce carbon emissions.
And that’s not all: “Nearly 2 million new cases of pediatric asthma every year may be caused by a traffic-related air pollutant”—nitrogen dioxide, which comes primarily “from tailpipe vehicle emissions, power plants and industrial sites,” found another GW study.
What they’re saying: “Reducing fossil fuel-powered transportation can help children and adults breathe easier and may pay big health dividends, such as fewer cases of pediatric asthma and excess deaths,” said study co-author Susan Anenberg. “At the same time, it would also reduce greenhouse gas emissions, leading to a healthier climate.”
Hey, we have a solution: low-carbon biofuels. Biofuels from agricultural or municipal waste and dedicated energy crops such as algae, switchgrass, hybrid poplar, and miscanthus have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 80% versus petroleum.
President Biden’s Tuesday: Heading to Atlanta, where he’ll participate in a wreath laying at the crypt of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King and visit Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church. He will speak about the urgent need to pass legislation to protect the constitutional right to vote and the integrity of our elections.