Monday, July 21, 2008

Senate Hearing to Examine Specialty Drug Price Increases

The following meeting will discuss the 15-fold price increase of H.P. Acthar Gel (ACTH) by Questcor Pharmaceuticals as implemented in their Orphan-Drug-Style-Pricing-Model Strategy in August 2007.

I previously wrote about Questcor's new strategy (see tags on sidebar) as Acthar is indicated for the treatment of multiple sclerosis exacerbations, although the majority of MS patients use IV Solumedrol to hasten the recovery from periodic flairs. I have offered to summarize my research findings into a single post for one of the witnesses who will be speaking at the hearing.

So I've got some work to do.


Americans Suffering From Rare Medical Conditions Also Burdened by Mounting Costs of Specialty Drugs as Pharmaceutical Companies Increase Prices Over Tenfold for Patients Undergoing Treatments for Serious Diseases Like Cancer and Epilepsy

Joint Economic Committee to Examine Sharp Price Increases for Expensive Specialized Drugs and the Impact on Consumers, Hospitals, and Care Providers

Washington, D.C.U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) will convene a hearing of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) to examine the skyrocketing prices of certain prescription drugs and the impact on the pharmaceutical market, hospital’s budgets and patient’s medical bills. The hearing entitled, "Small Market Drugs, Big Price Tags: Are Drug Companies Exploiting People With Rare Diseases?" will be held Thursday, July 24 at 10am in Room 106 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Senator Charles E. Schumer, Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, has been a staunch advocate of lower priced drugs and a competitive pricing market. The panel of experts will explore causes of recent price increases for treatments for rare diseases and the negative impact on affected families’ fiscal stability and access to care.

WHAT: Hearing: "Small Market Drugs, Big Price Tags: Are Drug Companies Exploiting People With Rare Diseases?"
WHO: Madeline Carpinelli, Institute for Pharmaceutical Research in Management and Economics at the University of Minnesota
Alan Goldbloom, CEO of Minnesota Children’s Hospital
Danielle Foltz, Parent of young patient from Rhode Island
(Additional witnesses may be added)
WHEN: 10 a.m., Thursday, July 24, 2008
WHERE: Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 106

The Joint Economic Committee, established under the Employment Act of 1946, was created by Congress to review economic conditions and to analyze the effectiveness of economic policy.


  1. I am glad that you have the credibility to be asked these questions. Mostly, this is a bad case of highway robbery. I'm thankful to feel ok right now because I have no money for treatments.

  2. I spoke about our experience with ACTH and another local family's in my blog today.

    Nothing like following the letter of the law to stick it to people...

  3. ACTH, forgot about that. What will it take to stop this train?