How big pharma keeps drug prices high (with Priti Krishtel and John Arnold)

01.07.2020 - By Pitchfork Economics with Nick Hanauer

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The American pharmaceutical industry is rigged to make a handful people fabulously wealthy while everyone else gets screwed over. Because of intricate patent laws, we pay double what people in 29 other rich countries pay. Experts and change-makers Priti Krishtel and John Arnold join Nick and Jasmin to explain how we got into this mess (Monopolies! Patent law!), and what we can do about it. 

Priti Krishtel is the Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of I-MAK, a global organization that works to increase access to lifesaving medicine. A 15-year veteran of the global access to medicines movement, she helped lead the movement to a pivotal moment in treatment access history with the passage of a health-friendly patent law. 

Twitter: @pritikrishtel
@IMAKglobal

John Arnold is a former hedge fund manager who, with his wife Laura, now focuses on advocacy through their organization Arnold Ventures. Arnold Ventures has distributed more than $175 million in grants to over 80 healthcare nonprofit organizations, universities, and institutes with the ultimate goal to lower healthcare spending without compromising quality. 

Twitter: @JohnArnoldFndtn

Further reading: 

It’s Time for Pharmaceutical Companies to Have Their Tobacco Moment: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/24/opinion/drug-prices-congress.html

A Humira Prescription Costs $38,000 A Year Because Our Patent System Is Being Abused: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/opinion-humira-costs-patents_n_5bd0c893e4b0a8f17ef3961f

How Big Pharma Reaps Profits While Hurting Everyday Americans: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/democracy/reports/2019/08/30/473911/big-pharma-reaps-profits-hurting-everyday-americans/

Comprehensive Reform to Lower Prescription Drug Prices: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/healthcare/news/2019/01/29/465621/comprehensive-reform-lower-prescription-drug-prices/

A Supreme Court victory for lowering drug prices: https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/385326-why-scotus-ruling-in-oil-states-v-greenes-energy-group-is-a-win-for-working

How a billionaire couple greased the skids for Nancy Pelosi’s drug pricing bill: https://www.statnews.com/2019/11/26/laura-john-arnold-billionaire-greased-the-skids-for-drug-pricing-bill/

Billionaire Philanthropist John Arnold On Drug Prices: Congress Needs to Act: https://www.forbes.com/sites/denizcam/2018/11/29/billionaire-philanthropist-john-arnold-on-drug-prices-the-congress-needs-to-act/#b6097ee57a25

Millions in U.S. Lost Someone Who Couldn’t Afford Treatment: https://news.gallup.com/poll/268094/millions-lost-someone-couldn-afford-treatment.aspx

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