Tuesday, February 05, 2019
Senator Bernie Sanders is demanding to know why a drug that was once free is now costing patients $375,000 a year. He has put the pharmaceutical company, Catalyst, on the spot. The implication is that it is gouging patients for unmerited profit. There might be good reasons for the stunning increase in price, but Catalyst is in a bad PR position. Whatever it says will be measured against other drug makers who have relentlessly jacked prices of their medicines. None are looking good. Catalyst, to avoid a charge of gouging, needs strong proofs that the cost of making the Firdapse has escalated and the company can no longer afford to make it for free. That is a tall order. If the senator pursues the case, there will be more bad news. One wonders if the cost of the drug is worth it.