A recent article in the New York Times highlights the yet-to-be-fulfilled promises made by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International to the U.S. Congress. Valeant had said it would give hospitals discounts of as much as 30 percent on two of its expensive heart drugs. But those discounts never materialized and may have been disingenuous.
New stories illustrating how hospitals and health systems are impacted by rising drug prices and the effect this has on the patients they serve continue to emerge. One hospital has reported that the cost of Isuprel, one of the drugs cited in the article, increased 479 percent from about $207 to nearly $1,200.
In fact, Valeant revealed where that their increases in the two widely-used heart medications, Nitropress and Isuprel, were not the result of any costly new investments in lab work, manufacturing facilities or additional human testing. The only thing that changed was ownership of the drugs.
These unchecked drug price increases, as illustrated by the examples of Nitropress and Isprel, are unsustainable and a serious economic threat to the patients and communities served by America’s hospitals and health systems.
Valeant should do more to bring soaring drug prices under control.