FDA

How To Build a Better EpiPen—or Something Totally Different That's Much Better

Drug company Mylan is able to charge monopoly prices due to government regulation, not free-market forces.

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Gage Skidmore, Flickr

In 2015, about 3.5 million people were prescribed an EpiPen, an injection device with a pre-measured dose of epinephrine used to treat potentially fatal allergic reactions. Controversy over the fast-rising costs of the device has been used to indict the American health-care system as a playground for corporate greed. Over the past five years or so, the list price of a two-pack of EpiPends has increased about 400 percent, to $600. (Of course, what any customer might pay out-of-pocket is dependent on many factors such as insurance company, income level, and more.)

Well, there's no question that the maker of the EpiPen, Mylan, is in business to make money. The CEO of the company, which is the largest maker of generic drugs in the country, says, "I am a for-profit business. I am not hiding from that." It's actually kind of great to hear a CEO unapologetically say so. But as Scott Shackford recently noted at Reason.com, the main problem is that Mylan has been granted a de facto monopoly over the market for epinephrine injectors. That isn't because it built a better mousetrap but because the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has shot down virtually every alternative device for one reason or another.

As I write in a new Daily Beast column,

Mylan's path to monopoly pricing in EpiPens has everything to do with politics and nothing to with laissez-faire economics. The approval process isn't just long and expensive, it also opens things up to politics.

That's one of the reasons why Mylan, which bought the rights to EpiPen in 2007, spent more than $2 million lobbying Washington in 2015. The company's PAC has spent about $80,000 so far in the 2016 election cycle. Maybe it's just coincidence, but Mylan, one of the largest generic drug companies on the planet, faces little competition from other companies that want to make devices similar to the EpiPen.

As the pseudonymous doctor Scott Alexander documents at Slate Star Codex, the amount of epinephrine in an EpiPen's pre-measured dose costs about 10 cents a shot. But every time a new company tries to bring a rival product to market, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finds a reason to just say no. Sandoz, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi, and Adamis have all tried and failed. That seems more than a little fishy given the relative simplicity of the basic drug and delivery system involved. We're not talking brain surgery here—we're talking about a pre-loaded, single-use syringe.

Let's be clear: The basic protocols that the FDA uses to approve drugs and devices are outdated and make new products far more limited and far more expensive than they need to be. Indeed, as medical researchers push forward into an era of hyper-personalized "molecular medicine" that is based on individual genomic differences among patients, the FDA insists on clinical trials that are based on average experiences. Some drugs work for some patients but not others, notes researcher Peter Huber of the Manhattan Institute. It costs somewhere between $1 billion and $5.8 billion and between 10 years and 15 years to bring new drugs to market (where maybe 20 percent become blockbusters). Yet for politicians on both sides of the aisle, the fix to the EpiPen is to threaten price controls. Here's an excerpt from a letter released by Hillary Clinton, in which she avers that the EpiPen price hike is

just the latest troubling example of a company taking advantage of its consumers. I believe that our pharmaceutical and biotech industries can be an incredible source of American innovation, giving us revolutionary treatments for debilitating diseases. But it's wrong when drug companies put profits ahead of patients, raising prices without justifying the value behind them.

"That's why I've put forward a plan to address exorbitant drug price hikes like these. As part of my plan, I've made clear that pharmaceutical manufacturers should be required to explain significant price increases, and prove that any additional costs are linked to additional patient benefits and better value. Since there is no apparent justification in this case, I am calling on Mylan to immediately reduce the price of EpiPens.

Mylan publicity photo

Now that Mylan has announced plans to release a generic version of the EpiPen, Clinton and others (such as Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who sent Mylan a letter of his own) can claim a short-term win. But Mylan isn't taking advantage of customers. It is simply working a political system to its own advantages. And Clinton's solution to that is to give even more power to political players.

But as Reason's science correspondent, Ronald Bailey, has long argued, it makes much more sense to open up the approval process and empower patient choice if you want more and better treatments. Why not, for instance, have multiple approval agencies whose reputation and market power will be directly related to the accuracy of its ratings (Underwriters Laboratories provides one prototype)? Or allow terminal patients to more easily circumvent strictures on drugs that have not passed into the FDA's final approval stage? This is in fact already happening, with state after state passing "right to try" legislation that hopes to do just that.

Price controls don't work—just ask Venezuela. They result in less innovation, chronic shortages, and ultimately fewer products. Medical innovation obeys the same basic economic laws as every other commercial process.

No system of checks and balances is perfect but there's simply no way to make drugs cheaper without speeding up and lowering the cost of developing them. And there's no question that delaying approvals and squelching competition has costs too—ones that range far beyond a $600 EpiPen….

The plain fact is that the real problem with costs and innovations in the medical world isn't that companies are run by "greedy" bastards such as Mylan's Bresch ("I am a for-profit business," she told the Times. "I am not hiding from that.").

It's that powerful and well-connected companies can use politics to rig markets and that it takes too damn long and costs too much money to develop new drugs and services to us all. That's something politicians, not capitalism, are responsible for and only politicians can—and should fix.

Read the Beast article here.

NEXT: Conservatives Against Incarceration

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  1. http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_…..d_one.html

    According to Slate, if you don’t find Lena Dunham attractive you must be gay. Who knew that 99.95% of all men in the world were actually gay? That is one hell of a scoop Slate has found.

    1. This comment from that article pretty much says it all with regards to the way Slate reports on this stuff:

      So men really can’t win. If a man approaches a woman who isn’t interested in him, he’s a creep. If he doesn’t approach a woman he’s not interested in, he’s a creep. Or he’s gay. Or something.

      Shame, Slate, shame.

      1. Earning money online was never been so easy as it has become for me now. I work over the internet and earn about 90 dollar an hour. Get more time with your family by doing this simple jobs that only require for you to have a computer and web access at your home. A little effort and handsome earning dream is just a click away. Try this… go web and click to tech tab for more info work… http://www.14earnpath.com

        1. Earning money online was never been so easy as it has become for me now. I work over the internet and earn about 90 dollar an hour. Get more time with your family by doing this simple jobs that only require for you to have a computer and web access at your home. A little effort and handsome earning dream is just a click away. Try this…

    2. Sounds like clickbait for non-leftists, interesting trolling-based business model.

    3. “Regardless, Dunham has tapped into a real phenomenon?men who really don’t know what to make of women who don’t sexually interest them?and I, for one, intend to borrow her marshmallow line the next time this happens to me.”

      How long would the author have to wait for *that* to happen, I wonder?

        1. It’s unfair, if men aren’t sexually interested in her, they should at least be interested in her intelligence…

          1. What intelligence?

      1. Are there really any such men? I mean, its not a hard thing to figure out. I don’t want to have sex with you so I’ll deal with you like anyone else that I don’t want to have sex with. Which means that there’s a severe limit on the amount of bullshit I’ll put up with you – in proportion to your value to me.

        Huh, pretty much exactly like I treat people I want to have sex with.

        But if I don’t have the time of day for you, its not because I don’t know what to do with you – its because *you* (you specifically, not all women) have nothing to offer outside of sex and I don’t want it from you.

    4. Earning money online was never been so easy as it has become for me now. I work over the internet and earn about 90 dollar an hour. Get more time with your family by doing this simple jobs that only require for you to have a computer and web access at your home. A little effort and handsome earning dream is just a click away. Try this… go web and click to tech tab for more info work… http://www.14earnpath.com

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    6. She’s kinda cute but fat girls gotta have big tits for me to be interested.

      1. *slowly turns head to look at Chipper*

        Um, what?

  2. Aww, c’mon, greedy korporashunz and 1%er CEOs make a much better narrative.

    1. How about 1%er actresses, like Dunham?

  3. I remember a conversation I had with a doctor friend ,client of mine about West Virginia’s certificate of need and how it stopped the other hospital in town from offering heart surgery, He said having both offer the same service was redundant. I told him that their was not a limit on barber shops to protect my income.Of fast food,or Walmart up Grand Central Avenue here. He didn’t know what to say .BTW,I have no love for the other hospital,they are a ‘not for profit that keeps their money and has a charity to buy equipment and pay big dollars to the .Admin.

  4. Angela Merkel’s party finishes in 3rd place in election in north-east German state, behind an anti-immigrant party.

    Angela Merkel’s ruling CDU party has been beaten into third place by an anti-immigrant and anti-Islam party in elections in a north-eastern German state, TV exit polls suggest.

    The Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) party took 21% of the vote behind the centre-left SPD’s 30.5%.

    The German chancellor’s CDU was supported by only 19% of those who voted, according to the exit polls.

    The vote was seen as a key test before German parliamentary elections in 2017.

    Before the vote in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, all of Germany’s other parties ruled out forming a governing coalition with the AfD.

    However, the party’s strong showing could weaken Mrs Merkel ahead of the national elections next year.

    1. anti-Islam party

      You know what other German political party was anti-[a Middle Eastern religion]?

      1. The Communist Party of Germany?

      2. The Greens? After all, they hate the idea of oil extraction.

      3. You know which Middle Eastern and North African countries whole-heartedly embraced the Nazi Party and gleefully assisted in ejecting Jews? Islamic states.

    2. My wife just came back from Berlin. She had some political conversations with some of the locals and non-locals there. In general, they seemed to agree 100% that importing a zillion non-westerners into their midst is a non-issue and that American libertarians are the most crazy and dangerous people on earth.

      1. Also should mention, that confirmed, the ‘socialist democracy’ state of Germany takes 50% of your wages, but everything they provide is ‘free’. /derp

        1. This is also the former East Germany. Workers there pretty much got shafted after unification, because they didn’t get to compete with workers from the Ruhrgebiet.

  5. raising prices without justifying the value behind them.

    “Why no, I don’t understand the concept of value, or prices.”

    1. I know several doctors an others in the medical industry [no it’s not ‘health care’ ] Many really believe what they do is so important that it needs to be outside the market, The do not understand that the most important job to someone is their;s and they are hired help and more choices mean better prices and service.

  6. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Bernie Sander’s comment about the 23 kinds of deodorant makes sense if you think about it for a second, but only if you stop after one second. It sounds plausible that monopoly industry is the more efficient method of producing goods – if you only had one bread company you’d eliminate all the unnecesary duplication of services in making and delivering and selling bread. One bread factory, one trucking company delivering to one store, that one store with the highest possible volume being able to offer the lowest margin – wouldn’t it make sense to have only Kroger selling bread rather than Kroger hiring staff and stocking shelves and taking up valuable real estate and roadspace with their delivery trucks only to duplicate the exact same thing Publix and Food Lion and Ingles and Walmart and every other grocery store is doing? Isn’t having a bunch of people trying to do the same thing less efficient than having just one?

    The problem is that competition is what drives efficiency – if Kroger was the only one selling bread they wouldn’t be offering the best product at the lowest price because why would they? Why would they care how efficient their bread-supply operation is if they’re the only bread-supply operation in town?

    1. If you grasp that – perhaps counter-intuitively – monopoly industries are inherently less efficient than competitive industries simply because monopoly industries don’t have to give a rat’s ass about efficiency, you might start wondering why government services tend to be monopoly services and yet so many people just seem to accept that that’s natural the government would operate monopoly services because that’s the most efficient way to do things.

      And as some moron challenged me on that point by asking me sarcastically how the hell you could make the military more efficient by introducing competition – I don’t know, but if the joint chiefs showed up on my doorstep with a check for 612 billion dollars to make the military more efficient by introducing competition you can bet your ass I could come up with an answer. That’s my whole damn point – there’s no benefit to me for coming up with a way to make the military more efficient because the military is a monopoly industry and they don’t care about efficiency.

      1. Part of the problem is that most people today see the products they want as kind of always existing. That is, while they may, sometimes, grasp that competition is required for innovation, they don’t see today’s products as the result of competition. Therefore, competition over existing products is no longer needed.

      2. How about awarding dollars for developing the new hi-tech killing machine to the branch of service which has the lowest number of unaccounted for billions (or some other metric they can compete over)?

      3. Monopolies are not INHERENTLY less efficient. In fact, they are inherently the MOST efficient. This is why many people push for their adoption.
        The benefit of competition is as you stated, but this is a historical and dynamic benefit.
        Markets do not ALWAYS strive to be efficient and monopolies are not prevented from innovation.

        The appeal of free markets should never be first to market mechanisms, but to freedom itself. It is in this inherent freedom where its true value lies, regardless of the economic model.

        This may seem like a minor quibble, but I see this mistake repeatedly made, even by libertarians.

        1. Markets do not ALWAYS strive to be efficient

          Free markets do.

          And I’ll go out on a limb here and claim that almost anyone here talking about markets is referring to free markets.

          1. Sure.

            But this is not an inherency. The assumption you and most people are making, while strong and quite reasonable, is that all economic actors have the same motivations.

            It is theoretically possible that, even in a purely competitive model, producers simply choose not to innovate. It is equally true that any monopoly could choose to push innovation to the maximum price constraints allow.

            Again, this is merely a minor nuanced point, but it’s ramifications are tremendous.

            Market failures exist, the market is not some god to be worshipped. Humans have a myriad of motivations. Freedom is the key.

            Nothing I’ve written contradicts your statement. My comments are merely addendum.

            1. is that all economic actors have the same motivations

              Self-interest. Sure, the tangible goods are diverse, but that’s the motivation. What do I need, and once that’s covered what do I want. Which leads to who elses needs can I fulfill in exchange for fulfilling mine?

              It is theoretically possible that, even in a purely competitive model, producers simply choose not to innovate. It is equally true that any monopoly could choose to push innovation to the maximum price constraints allow.

              The choice presented in both of those examples would not be in the best interest of the producer. is Worst Interest a thing?

              1. This is the typical response I always dread when talking with most libertarians (and I am staunchly libertarian).

                Self-interest is not uniform. It takes very little effort and nearly zero cost to see and admit this fact. If a grenade lands in your foxhole, what is your sel-interest? It is simply not true that every human being makes the same choice in response.

                If profit maximization is the goal, monopolies would innovate less than a competitive market. But this position makes all sorts of assumptions. It’s not asking too much to imagine where these assumptions break down. At least if you want to be intellectually honest and not a dogmatic market proponent.

                Consider the possibility that the monopoly is employee owned. With this more democratic business structure, it is entirely possible a monopolist seeks not to monopolize rents because any such rents merely reduce consumer surplus. In an extreme example, one could even imagine a wholly government monopoly choosing to innovate to achieve lowest cost. The fact that this is unlikely to ever happen, does not diminish its possibility.

                1. Monopolies innovate in order to increase profits and/or protect their monopoly.

                  Your observation that some producers fail to innovate reflects the inherent benefit of competition. More producers means more innovation.

                  My company had a monopoly product. We continue to innovate as part of our life cycle management. We don’t want our customers working too hard to find alternatives.

                  1. This is exactly my point. In fact, your anecdote flies in the face of some who believe monopolies don’t innovate. Technically, any producer would innovate if it meant increased profits. This is predicted by any standard model

                    My only quibble with your particular contribution, is that innovation is a subjective term. If your company’s desire to “innovate” results in less than a marginal equilibrium, then your company is still engaging in monopolistic behaviour.

                    My point is that self-interest is not uniform and therefore, economic choices and their outcomes are thus different for producers with different goals. I.e a profit maximizing decision is not objective.

                    Many of the libertarians who post on this site, would benefit from simply acknowledging this fact. Instead, they just mumble “self interest” as if everyone thinks or acts in the same way,

                    In summary, different motivations give rise to different decisions. Raising prices and keeping prices the same are objectively different choices but, both can be self-interested, rational and optimal.

              2. To be concise. Freedom gives you the choice to be a dick or not. Don’t drag the market in as an excuse to be dick.

                The market is innocent and inherently amoral.

                If you choose to be dick, and such a term is loaded with ambiguity, just own it. Sometimes being a dick is a good thing. You will be justified by your own conciousness and validated by those with which you choose to associate. Reality is the messy result of all our choices and motivations.

                Concision fail!!

              3. Oh man, I just can’t stop myself.

                One limitation of many economic models is a failure to include time and history.

                For example, in a run up to a hurricane, demand for certain goods or services can obviously spike and seemingly exorbitant prices result.

                One may conclude that it is in the interest of producers to charge as much as possible to maximize profit during such a situation. While this may maximize profits in the short term, it’s not unreasonable to conclude that tempering price hikes in the short term may prevent the loss of customers who are disgusted by the gouging in longer term. In fact, such benevolent action could increase future profits if a customer base is increased. If you have no long term motivation, such considerations are superfluous.

                Neither choice is wrong from a market perspective. They are both rational and profit maximizing strategies based on predictions and motivations.

                Just another example of the lack of uniformity when it comes to self interested behaviour.

                1. choices:self-interest::means:end

            2. But this is not an inherency. The assumption you and most people are making, while strong and quite reasonable, is that all economic actors have the same motivations.

              No, the assumption is simply that the kind of people that run monopolies are the same kind of people that operate in free markets.

              It is equally true that any monopoly could choose to push innovation to the maximum price constraints allow. Again, this is merely a minor nuanced point, but it’s ramifications are tremendous.

              No, it is not a “minor nuanced point”, it is simple logical nonsense to compare the performance of monopolies run by a perfect hypothetical actor with the performance of markets operated by real-world actors.

              Market failures exist, the market is not some god to be worshipped. Humans have a myriad of motivations. Freedom is the key.

              And, guess what, libertarians don’t “worship” free markets. We favor free markets because they are free. The fact that they also work better than other kinds of economic systems is a nice bonus.

          2. In case you think I’m trolling, or if you have not grasped my point, consider the following scenario.

            Part of the reason for confusion stems from improper use of the word efficiency. Efficiency is a metric, it is NEVER a goal or motivation. To put it bluntly, Hitler was very efficient at killing Jews, but he certainly could have improved this efficiency.

            Now, to the example. Suppose a new pesticide is introduced that can increase crop yields by 20%. If widely introduced it would result in the extinction of a number of species.

            If we assume all economic actors are motivated solely by profit maximization, then extinction is inevitable.

            Luckily, some economic actors do not believe in solely maximizing profit or consumption. The dilemma is ethical, not technical. It is entirely possible that the pesticide is never utilized. It is possible it is widely adopted and it is possible it is only adopted regionally.

            Some market fetishists at this point, will try to incorporate (I do this all the time) non-financial qualities into their model. The result, while more realistic, is still a muddled mess.

            There is no way to resolve the dilemma at the margin. Motivations and values matter, and market models will never resolve this issue. Thus, it is not true that free markets will always necessarily strive toward efficiency. And this is a good thing.

            P.S. My scenario is value neutral. I have not explicitly endorsed any regulations in my example.

            1. Navel. Thoroughly gazed.

              it is in no way controversial to suggest that some people will sometimes pay a premium for intangible benefits.

              1. Exactly. Then why do some object to just adding some nuance to already widely accepted principles.

                False statements: competitive markets always innovate. Monopolies never innovate.

                True statements: Competitive markets tend to innovate more than markets exhibiting greater degrees of market power. Monopolies are inherently more efficient.

                If this was indeed navel gazing. Then one would have no problems agreeing to the above.

                I rarely find people libertarians who agree without having some kind of emotional fit.

                It almost as if agreeing that the market cannot objectively reach optimal outcomes somehow means markets are bad or somehow require regulation.

                Freedom is what should be emphasized. Not efficiency or innovation.

              2. Similarly, many libertarians seem to dismiss intangible benefits as if they are minor concessions.

                Competition itself is an intangible benefit of freedom. This is no small point.

                To use a concrete example, suppose a company decided that it was cost efficient to engage in rent-seeking behaviour via lobbying.

                From a purely tangible point of view, such a decision is in a firm’s self interest. However, resources dedicated to such actions do not increase efficiency. Moreover, they work to restrict the freedoms of other actors, both producers and consumers.

                So we have a split between the behaviour dictated by markets and that which is conducive to greater freedom.

                This is not a novel observation or generalization, but it serves to illustrate that socialist and liberal critiques truly do expose the warts of a market system.

                Their only error is in believing their proposals don’t have bigger warts.

            2. Now, to the example. Suppose a new pesticide is introduced that can increase crop yields by 20%. If widely introduced it would result in the extinction of a number of species. If we assume all economic actors are motivated solely by profit maximization, then extinction is inevitable.

              No, not at all. If your pesticide starts killing off my animals, under a libertarian and free market system, you have to compensate me for the animals you’re killing. As a result, there will be negotiations among market participants that decide whether it is more efficient to preserve the species or to introduce the pesticide.

              The reason this confuses you is because currently, animals of endangered species are usually not privately owned, so they aren’t worth anything to anyone.

              Some market fetishists at this point, will try to incorporate (I do this all the time) non-financial qualities into their model. The result, while more realistic, is still a muddled mess.

              The reason you see a “muddled mess” is because you haven’t thought through the economics of the situation correctly.

        2. Monopolies are not INHERENTLY less efficient.

          Monopolies run by selfless and omniscient people can be more efficient than free markets composed of selfish and imperfect actors. But there are no “selfless and omniscient” people; when monopolies are run by the same kind of people that participate in markets, namely selfish and imperfect people, then they are “INHERENTLY” less efficient than free markets.

          In any case, libertarians are not concerned with efficiency, but with liberty. That is, libertarians favor free markets not because they are efficient but because they are based on voluntary transactions. It is a lucky coincidence that free markets also happen to be more efficient than any other known form of economic organization.

    2. The problem is that competition is what drives efficiency

      Nailed it!

      I put it to you, that in a “frictionless” world, where people all work equally hard, there should be no difference between the private sector and the government providing you a good/service.

      However, in the real world, people will attempt to obtain the most they can for the least amount of effort (for all the same reasons one seeks the best value when purchasing a good/service). In the real world the difference between private and government is only that of efficiency. The former provides incentive (profit motive) to improve where the latter can’t.

      It’s that simple, yet over 50% of Americans (the left) would disagree with the notion that folks do what they are incentivised to do.

  7. One of the worst things about this that hasn’t received much coverage is the lobbying by Mylan to force every school in the US to stock Epi pens.

    Epi Pens are a SELF RESCUE device. Elementary school kids aren’t going to inject themselves.

    If the school nurse doesn’t know how to draw down from a $0.25 ampule of epinephrine, find a new nurse.

  8. Is this article trying to say that the FDA is in shady crony relationships with drug companies? NO! It cannot be! I don’t beelievz it! Bernie said capitalism is the bad guy! And Bernie is Bah! Did I spell that right?

  9. Jesus Christ Nick, stop using that picture of Clinton, I shiver every time it looks at me with its bug-eyes.

    It’s like a creepier female version of The Smiler.

  10. “Price controls don’t work?just ask Venezuela.”
    Or just ask America!
    Just because I am old, I was personally impacted by the wage and price controls of the seventies. To get around the wage controls, I had to change jobs every so often just to keep up with the double digit inflation. (There were no controls on new hires, just on the poor fools who could not get a job across the street. So stay at the job for a 2% raise in the face of 12-14% inflation, or get another job with a 15% increase) That allowed me to keep up with price hikes, but at the cost of zero pension credits.
    Or just ask the Americans who watched the price of gasoline go up in the late seventies. No big deal (see above) until the friendly federal government stepped in with price controls. (are you listening Hillary?) That is when the lines began, not when the supply went way down, but when the feds stepped in. And of course, the feds response to lines was more regulations and odd-even days and all that (expletive deleted).
    So what do you think will happen when the feds slap price controls on medical treatments?

  11. What’s especially lovely is the non-branded $300 “generic” that Mylan is going to offer is going to be as irrelevant as the $200 AdrenaClick, because of the very same non-substitution rule for prescription device generics. If your prescription is for an EpiPen, you won’t actually be able to have a pharmacist fill that with the $300 non-branded version.

    1. True but you can ask for the script. I think this market is savvy enough to ask.

  12. I i get Paid Over ?80 per hour working from home with 2 kids at house. I never thought I would be able to do it but my best friend earns over ?9185 a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless.

    Heres what I’ve been doing,……………. http://www.CareerPlus90.Com

  13. For all the “conservatives” out there supporting the Republican establishment, this is a prime example of cronie capitalism which plays right into the hands of the likes of Senators Warren and Sanders. Free market capitalism may work very well, but the cronie sort is another matter.

  14. Feds: Please explain why this drug has increased from 80 dollars to 90 dollars?

    Drug company: We had to hire a lawyer to write our explanations for price increases, per your mandate. With this person now on our payroll, we’ve had to increase our prices in order to pay her salary.

    Feds: This sounds like you’re putting profit before the patients. This price increase fails to meet our burden of increased benefit for the patient.

    Drug company: With all due respect, without these price increases, we will no longer be financially viable within 3 years.

    Feds: ‘mumble mumble mumble’ um… What does financially viable mean?

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