Do you have adblock enabled?
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Bloomberg)   Study confirms that pharmacy benefit plans are screwing Medicare eight ways from Sunday. But we should continue to trust the free market   (bloomberg.com ) divider line 68
    More: Obvious, u.s. medicare, Humana, UnitedHealth Group, Jerry Moran, Centers for Medicare, Minnetonka, Medicaid Services, Lipitor  
•       •       •

1898 clicks; posted to Politics » on 22 Mar 2013 at 8:27 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



68 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all
 
2013-03-22 08:30:39 AM  
Really? Who in their right mind thought that these benefit plans were not going to be benefit the pharma industry?
 
2013-03-22 08:38:05 AM  
Well this obviously doesn't need any government regulation or intervention to resolve.  The Invisible Hand of the Market will be along shortly to correct the situation.
 
2013-03-22 08:38:57 AM  
Oh oh, I know.

1. Lets make it so the medicare pays for prescriptions at cost. Then forbid medicare to negotiate prices or set laws regulating the price of prescriptions.
2. Complain about how much medicare cost.
3. Try and make it so that medicare money goes directly to the insurance industry via vouchers.
4. Profit on the corpses of grandma and granddad
 
2013-03-22 08:44:11 AM  
I'm just curious...

Why is it that 100% of the time, without exception, ever... When the free market does something wrong the suggestion is more government but when the government does something wrong and inefficiently the solution is never... EVER... Less government?

It's almost like you don't about what works as much as you care about what promotes a certain political position.
 
2013-03-22 08:46:43 AM  
I firmly believe single payer is the only way to go, but if medicare existed in the "free market", they would not allow this to happen.
 
2013-03-22 08:49:56 AM  

randomjsa: I'm just curious...

Why is it that 100% of the time, without exception, ever... When the free market does something wrong the suggestion is more government but when the government does something wrong and inefficiently the solution is never... EVER... Less government?

It's almost like you don't about what works as much as you care about what promotes a certain political position.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but Medicare is far more privatized now than when it was started?
 
2013-03-22 08:50:39 AM  
I work for big pharma, one of the top 10 companies in the country.
If a drug drops to less than 300% profit, we drop it
Most of our drugs are at least 1000%  my recent favorite is one that we buy for $20 something a bottle and sell for $40 a pill to pharmacies, who then also have to make a profit.
As for R&D eating those costs, yeah we're a middleman, we dont R&D anything, we just buy the drugs predicting the demand for them.
 
2013-03-22 08:53:47 AM  

randomjsa: I'm just curious an idiot...


Do you have a problem with the Federal Government participating in the free market by negotiating pricing with pharmaceutical companies?
 
2013-03-22 08:53:54 AM  

randomjsa: when the government does something wrong and inefficiently the solution is never... EVER... Less government?


I know when my car is running poorly and inefficiently, I simply carve off a piece of it.  That usually makes it much better.
 
2013-03-22 08:55:07 AM  
randomjsa:

It's almost like you don't about what works as much as you care about what promotes a certain political position.

First off, I'm going to fill in the blank and say you forgot the word 'care'
Secondofly, this is coming from the guy who came to argue in a thread about the problems with the discount pharmacy program that the free market is better than governmental programs without addressing the issue at hand.

It's almost like you don't about the issue in the article as much as you care about what distracts from it.
 
2013-03-22 08:56:38 AM  

DaStompa: As for R&D eating those costs, yeah we're a middleman, we dont R&D anything, we just buy the drugs predicting the demand for them.


Yep, R&D costs are one of the big lies. Sure R&D can be costly when the companies actually do it but a significant fraction of that R&D is being done by universities which are heavily publicly funded. What really eats up the money is marketing. All  those dick pill commercials aren't cheap.
 
2013-03-22 08:58:13 AM  

Bareefer Obonghit: randomjsa:

It's almost like you don't about what works as much as you care about what promotes a certain political position.

First off, I'm going to fill in the blank and say you forgot the word 'care'
Secondofly, this is coming from the guy who came to argue in a thread about the problems with the discount pharmacy program that the free market is better than governmental programs without addressing the issue at hand.

It's almost like you don't about the issue in the article as much as you care about what distracts from it.


What you did there.

/I see it.
 
2013-03-22 08:59:11 AM  
Dear Subby.

Medicare is not the free market.
 
2013-03-22 09:07:15 AM  

randomjsa: Why is it that 100% of the time, without exception, ever... When the free market does something wrong


Very little to do with prescription drugs on medicare could be described as a "free market".
 
2013-03-22 09:08:35 AM  
Study confirms that pharmacy benefit plans are screwing Medicare eight ways from Sunday. But we should continue to trust the free market market-based private insurance corporations.

FTFY subby.
 
2013-03-22 09:08:36 AM  

Monkeyhouse Zendo: DaStompa: As for R&D eating those costs, yeah we're a middleman, we dont R&D anything, we just buy the drugs predicting the demand for them.

Yep, R&D costs are one of the big lies. Sure R&D can be costly when the companies actually do it but a significant fraction of that R&D is being done by universities which are heavily publicly funded. What really eats up the money is marketing. All  those dick pill commercials aren't cheap.


DING DING DING!!!

So farking sick of complaints about R&D when it is heavily subsidised, and pharmacy companies are making boatloads of money.

fark that.
 
2013-03-22 09:10:45 AM  

scarmig: Medicare is not the free market.


Prescription drugs aren't exactly a free market either.
 
2013-03-22 09:12:08 AM  

randomjsa: I'm just curious...

Why is it that 100% of the time, without exception, ever... When the free market does something wrong the suggestion is more government but when the government does something wrong and inefficiently the solution is never... EVER... Less government?

It's almost like you don't about what works as much as you care about what promotes a certain political position.


Why is it, that when the topic of health care comes up, some people just cannot recognize that the personal health and well being of human beings cannot be treated as a commodity?
 
2013-03-22 09:13:05 AM  

Monkeyhouse Zendo: DaStompa: As for R&D eating those costs, yeah we're a middleman, we dont R&D anything, we just buy the drugs predicting the demand for them.

Yep, R&D costs are one of the big lies. Sure R&D can be costly when the companies actually do it but a significant fraction of that R&D is being done by universities which are heavily publicly funded. What really eats up the money is marketing. All  those dick pill commercials aren't cheap.


Actually a significant portion of research initially is done at the public level, however once a compound is found to maybe have some partial benefit it often is picked up and then privately funded through the years and years of studies, research, testing, and finally trials in the hope that it will work. It's not the cost of that one that drives the cost of all, its the cost of the 10 other failures that do.

I mean we could easily drive costs down though, just let loose the rules regarding compound testing and humans and we could easily advance research by years and years.

Just ignore that guy who glows blue in the line next to you, or the girl with 8 ears.

Its research.
 
2013-03-22 09:16:09 AM  

randomjsa: When the free market does something wrong the suggestion is more government but when the government does something wrong and inefficiently the solution is never... EVER... Less government?


Not true.  Fast and Furious was an example of something the government did wrong and it was canceled.  Government doing something it wasn't, by definition is less government.
 
2013-03-22 09:18:18 AM  

MyKingdomForYourHorse: Just ignore that guy who glows blue in the line next to you, or the girl with 8 ears.


Those of you who volunteered to be injected with praying mantis DNA, I've got some good news and some bad news; bad news is we're postponing those tests indefinitely. Good news is we've got a much better test for you; fighting an army of mantis men. Pick up a rifle and follow the yellow line. You'll know when the test starts.
 
2013-03-22 09:18:31 AM  

gothelder: Really? Who in their right mind thought that these benefit plans were not going to be benefit the pharma industry?


As Jack Welch said, publicly traded firms exist primarily to return dollars to the investors. See the vultures suing Apple for maintaining a rainy day fund as another example.

The biggest mistake we made was letting the Blues convert from not-for-profit entities into normal corporations. A shift in focus to  profits, profits, uber alles was inevitable at that point.
 
2013-03-22 09:19:02 AM  

DaStompa: I work for big pharma, one of the top 10 companies in the country.
If a drug drops to less than 300% profit, we drop it
Most of our drugs are at least 1000%  my recent favorite is one that we buy for $20 something a bottle and sell for $40 a pill to pharmacies, who then also have to make a profit.
As for R&D eating those costs, yeah we're a middleman, we dont R&D anything, we just buy the drugs predicting the demand for them.


1000% over raw materials cost, or 1000% over raw materials plus R&D for a proportional slice of rejected and failed projects annuitized appropriately?

Because even the margin of Questcor (the Pharma with the highest margins by far) is on the order of 40%.  So.... either you're full of shiat, or they're blatantly lying on their expense reports to investors, which is something that usually results in, y'know, a very rapid implosion of the company.

liam76: Monkeyhouse Zendo: DaStompa: As for R&D eating those costs, yeah we're a middleman, we dont R&D anything, we just buy the drugs predicting the demand for them.

Yep, R&D costs are one of the big lies. Sure R&D can be costly when the companies actually do it but a significant fraction of that R&D is being done by universities which are heavily publicly funded. What really eats up the money is marketing. All  those dick pill commercials aren't cheap.

DING DING DING!!!

So farking sick of complaints about R&D when it is heavily subsidised, and pharmacy companies are making boatloads of money.

fark that.


Um... Universities don't really do outright drug development, they do proof-of-concept studies.

I would go so far as to say that if you can find a single University that's solely funded a drug's development to the market-ready phase then unicorns are probably real and the President's probably actually a Kenyan originally hired to fake the moon landing that rode one of said unicorns through the WTC to knock it down in an inside job to cover up how vaccines are causing Autism.

//I would say this because, um, I do research for a university and am aware of how funding works and the general quantities involved in individual grants, even outside my own department.
 
2013-03-22 09:20:17 AM  

jayhawk88: Why is it, that when the topic of health care comes up, some people just cannot recognize that the personal health and well being of human beings cannot be treated as a commodity?


Are you suggesting that after getting hit by a car, the person lying in the road, dying, isn't going to shop around for the most affordable ambulance provider?If you're not going to get three quotes when buying a service then you deserve what you get.
 
2013-03-22 09:22:16 AM  

Garaba: Oh oh, I know.

1. Lets make it so the medicare pays for prescriptions at cost. Then forbid medicare to negotiate prices or set laws regulating the price of prescriptions.
2. Complain about how much medicare cost.
3. Try and make it so that medicare money goes directly to the insurance industry via vouchers.
4. Profit on the corpses of grandma and granddad


Please give examples where the transfer to privatization has worked. By the way in all my examples below, the programs were still fully funded by the government. The only thing that changed is that someone profited from it.

We've tried privatizing prisons. Doesn't work. We've tried privatizing roads. It won't work. We've tried privatizing health and human services in Nebraska. It's not going to work. Private enterprises go out of business. You can't have a road, prison, or human services company close up shop. We have also seen corruption in these systems.
 
2013-03-22 09:23:08 AM  
lh3.ggpht.com

What the invisible hand of the free market might look like
 
2013-03-22 09:23:54 AM  

Monkeyhouse Zendo: Those of you who volunteered to be injected with praying mantis DNA, I've got some good news and some bad news; bad news is we're postponing those tests indefinitely. Good news is we've got a much better test for you; fighting an army of mantis men. Pick up a rifle and follow the yellow line. You'll know when the test starts.


Science isn't about why, it's about why not. You ask: why is so much of our science dangerous? I say: why not marry safe science if you love it so much. In fact, why not invent a special safety door that won't hit you in the butt on the way out, because you are fired.
 
2013-03-22 09:25:29 AM  

Jim_Callahan: a single University that's solely funded a drug's development to the market-ready phase


Market ready?  No.  But through phase 2 testing happens, certainly.
 
2013-03-22 09:26:46 AM  
But I've been told that it is unpossible to screw Medicare because they're so good at negotiating prices.
 
2013-03-22 09:27:31 AM  

bgilmore5: We've tried privatizing prisons. Doesn't work. We've tried privatizing roads. It won't work. We've tried privatizing health and human services in Nebraska. It's not going to work. Private enterprises go out of business. You can't have a road, prison, or human services company close up shop. We have also seen corruption in these systems.


You forgot to mention the failure of charter schools.  Privatizing schools does not work.
 
2013-03-22 09:28:02 AM  

Jim_Callahan: liam76: Monkeyhouse Zendo: DaStompa: As for R&D eating those costs, yeah we're a middleman, we dont R&D anything, we just buy the drugs predicting the demand for them.

Yep, R&D costs are one of the big lies. Sure R&D can be costly when the companies actually do it but a significant fraction of that R&D is being done by universities which are heavily publicly funded. What really eats up the money is marketing. All those dick pill commercials aren't cheap.

DING DING DING!!!

So farking sick of complaints about R&D when it is heavily subsidised, and pharmacy companies are making boatloads of money.

fark that.

Um... Universities don't really do outright drug development, they do proof-of-concept studies.

I would go so far as to say that if you can find a single University that's solely funded a drug's development to the market-ready phase then unicorns are probably real and the President's probably actually a Kenyan originally hired to fake the moon landing that rode one of said unicorns through the WTC to knock it down in an inside job to cover up how vaccines are causing Autism.

//I would say this because, um, I do research for a university and am aware of how funding works and the general quantities involved in individual grants, even outside my own department


You understand the difference between solely funded and heavily subsidized, yes?

You understand that them making tons of profit shows the claim they can't afford not to charge that much isn't true, yes?
 
2013-03-22 09:30:19 AM  
And what does lil stubby think we should do? Obamacare simply rubber stamped and permitted expansion of these practices.
 
2013-03-22 09:31:10 AM  

liam76: You understand that them making tons of profit shows the claim they can't afford not to charge that much isn't true, yes?


You totally missed the point but that's ok

....please proceed
 
2013-03-22 09:33:25 AM  
Subby doesn't understand what a "free market" actually is and uses it like a Smurf uses "Smurf". I recommend a bit of studying.
 
2013-03-22 09:40:38 AM  

scarmig: Dear Subby.

Medicare is not the free market.


shhhhh, we're pretending
 
2013-03-22 09:44:38 AM  

randomjsa: I'm just curious...

Why is it that 100% of the time, without exception, ever... When the free market does something wrong the suggestion is more government but when the government does something wrong and inefficiently the solution is never... EVER... Less government?

It's almost like you don't about what works as much as you care about what promotes a certain political position.


Think of socialism, free market and closely regulated free market as tools in a tool box for distributing goods and services.

Now pick the right tool for the following services:
1) fire fighting
2) consumer electronics
3) emergency health care
4) police services
5) food
6) raw materials
7) environmental protections
8) national defense
9) banking
10) insurance

Which commodities must be managed collectively because central interests out weight individual interests?  Which ones have an inelastic consumer demand?

Show your work.
 
2013-03-22 09:47:34 AM  

jigger: But I've been told that it is unpossible to screw Medicare because they're so good at negotiating prices.


As someone working directly in the field, its not possible to screw medicare in some respects, but others (Pharma, DME) Medicares hands are tied by congress to pay far more than what could possibly be negotiated.
 
2013-03-22 09:48:59 AM  

MyKingdomForYourHorse: liam76: You understand that them making tons of profit shows the claim they can't afford not to charge that much isn't true, yes?

You totally missed the point but that's ok

....please proceed


"The point" I was talking about was the claim that companies need to charge this much because of R&D.

It may miss some other point you are on about, but it jives compltely with "the point" of my post.
 
2013-03-22 09:49:27 AM  

randomjsa: I'm just curious...

Why is it that 100% of the time, without exception, ever... When the free market does something wrong the suggestion is more government but when the government does something wrong and inefficiently the solution is never... EVER... Less government?

It's almost like you don't about what works as much as you care about what promotes a certain political position.


Like many Republicans, you like to replace the word "regulation" with the word "government".

When the free market screws up consistently, it needs more *regulation*. When the government screws up consistently, it ALSO needs more regulation.
 
2013-03-22 09:54:32 AM  

liam76: "The point" I was talking about was the claim that companies need to charge this much because of R&D.


Which is factually true despite all pandering attempts to claim otherwise
 
2013-03-22 09:55:58 AM  
Anyone with a pre-school level knowledge of economics can understand why for-profit health insurance can never work to the benefit of the people. The incentives just aren't lined up properly.
 
2013-03-22 09:57:06 AM  
 DaStompa: I work for big pharma, one of the top 10 companies in the country.
If a drug drops to less than 300% profit, we drop it
Most of our drugs are at least 1000%  my recent favorite is one that we buy for $20 something a bottle and sell for $40 a pill to pharmacies, who then also have to make a profit.
As for R&D eating those costs, yeah we're a middleman, we dont R&D anything, we just buy the drugs predicting the demand for them.

1000% over raw materials cost, or 1000% over raw materials plus R&D for a proportional slice of rejected and failed projects annuitized appropriately?


I can only see what we pay/sell for each product, I'm sure there's hidden costs, but buy/sell is the entire company, we're just a middleman, any costs to do with the creation of the drugs, we don't do, that I assume would be absorbed by the manufacturer/patent holder/whatever.  We don't invent the drugs/treatments, we don't really do much.
if 40% or so overall is Profit, I can see that, higher management is hilariously well compensated, even I, am not important, make enough that I don't know, there's also the huge IT infrastructure, warehouses, all the overseas locations, There's pleny of cost baked in, but at the base level, we charge the absolute maximium the market will bear and insurance/medicare/old people have to eat it or die.

All we do is collect/distribute the stuff, with various mechanisms in place to keep prices high, like the industry is built to not allow a pharmacy to shop around, you order, we send, then you get invoiced, you can't shop around for prices.  Not to mention virtually every pharmacy /has/ to order from us or one of our daughter companies anyway as we own virtually everything as far as I understand.
 
2013-03-22 10:15:49 AM  

hillbillypharmacist: randomjsa: when the government does something wrong and inefficiently the solution is never... EVER... Less government?

I know when my car is running poorly and inefficiently, I simply carve off a piece of it.  That usually makes it much better.


www.splittinghairs.org
 
2013-03-22 10:19:39 AM  

MyKingdomForYourHorse: liam76: "The point" I was talking about was the claim that companies need to charge this much because of R&D.

Which is factually true despite all pandering attempts to claim otherwise


Only if your defenition of "need" is must make as much profit as possible off of something the public largely funded.

That definition doesn't work for me.  Maybe it does for you.
 
MFK
2013-03-22 10:23:39 AM  

DaStompa: I work for big pharma, one of the top 10 companies in the country.
If a drug drops to less than 300% profit, we drop it
Most of our drugs are at least 1000%  my recent favorite is one that we buy for $20 something a bottle and sell for $40 a pill to pharmacies, who then also have to make a profit.
As for R&D eating those costs, yeah we're a middleman, we dont R&D anything, we just buy the drugs predicting the demand for them.


if you don't mind me asking, what are the kinds of medications that get "dropped"? Are these life saving meds with low profit margins or just meds that are rarely used?
 
2013-03-22 10:29:03 AM  

MFK: DaStompa: I work for big pharma, one of the top 10 companies in the country.
If a drug drops to less than 300% profit, we drop it
Most of our drugs are at least 1000%  my recent favorite is one that we buy for $20 something a bottle and sell for $40 a pill to pharmacies, who then also have to make a profit.
As for R&D eating those costs, yeah we're a middleman, we dont R&D anything, we just buy the drugs predicting the demand for them.

if you don't mind me asking, what are the kinds of medications that get "dropped"? Are these life saving meds with low profit margins or just meds that are rarely used?


The only time prices drop below "acceptable" margins are generics that we have failed to keep the price high on, these get picked up by other distributors pretty quickly.
 
2013-03-22 10:33:10 AM  
I don't think anyone here understands what a "free market" is. We have not had a free market in the U.S. in over a 150 years.
 
2013-03-22 10:41:37 AM  

MmmCrime: jigger: But I've been told that it is unpossible to screw Medicare because they're so good at negotiating prices.

As someone working directly in the field, its not possible to screw medicare in some respects, but others (Pharma, DME) Medicares hands are tied by congress to pay far more than what could possibly be negotiated.


Why does Congress force Medicare to pay more than it should? Is it because free market?
 
2013-03-22 10:55:13 AM  

Nome de Plume: I don't think anyone here understands what a "free market" is. We have not had a free market in the U.S. in over a 150 years.


exactly right.  I facepalmed reading the headline.  Do people not understand that a truly free market will fix this problem?
 
2013-03-22 10:58:06 AM  

jigger: MmmCrime: jigger: But I've been told that it is unpossible to screw Medicare because they're so good at negotiating prices.

As someone working directly in the field, its not possible to screw medicare in some respects, but others (Pharma, DME) Medicares hands are tied by congress to pay far more than what could possibly be negotiated.

Why does Congress force Medicare to pay more than it should? Is it because free market?


jigger: MmmCrime: jigger: But I've been told that it is unpossible to screw Medicare because they're so good at negotiating prices.

As someone working directly in the field, its not possible to screw medicare in some respects, but others (Pharma, DME) Medicares hands are tied by congress to pay far more than what could possibly be negotiated.

Why does Congress force Medicare to pay more than it should? Is it because free market?


Nope, it's because lobbyists.
 
Displayed 50 of 68 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
Advertisement
On Twitter






In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report