Matt Agorist – We’ve seen companies use the power of the state to grant themselves monopolies on decades-old drugs, and, in turn, spike the prices to astronomical levels. However, we’ve never heard of an instance of pharmaceutical companies deliberately destroying life-saving products to force the state to raise the price of its drugs — until now.
Cancer drugs remain in high demand because people rely on them during their battles with cancer. This high demand, over the years, has created a higher supply and by a function of the market — even though it is a state controlled market — resulted in a lower price.
This apparently infuriated one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies. So, it appears they took unethical and illegal action to change it.
the London Times, who recovered leaked internal emails from Aspen Pharmacare, corruption is the norm and is even celebrated.
As the Independent reports:
Leaked internal emails appear to show employees at one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies calling for “celebration” over price hikes ofcancerdrugs, an investigation has revealed.
Staff at Aspen Pharmacare reportedly plotted to destroy stocks of life-saving medicines during a price dispute with the Spanish health service in 2014.
After purchasing five different cancer drugs from British firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the company tried to sell the medicines in Europe for up to 40 times their previous price, reportedThe Times.
The price of Busulfan, a drug used to treat leukemia, rose from £5.20 to £65.22 in England and Wales after this move. Other drugs for fighting cancer quickly skyrocketed as well.
What do you do if your unscrupulous business practice of destroying product to manipulate the price of life-saving medicine pays off? Well, you celebrate, of course.
In a confidential email published by The Times, an Aspen employee appeared to write: “We’ve signed new reimbursement and price agreement successfully: price increases are basically on line with European target prices (Leukeran, a bit higher!)… Let’s celebrate!”
As the Independent reports:
According to The Times’s investigation, the company said it would stop supplying Italy with the drugs in October 2013 if authorities did not agree to price rises of up to 2,100 per cent in three months.
This all-powerful pharma company was essentially caught holding the government hostage in an unethical ploy to increase their bottom line.
Naturally, they were held accountable and those who facilitated this fraud were brought to task, right? Wrong.
A Department of Health spokesperson told the Independent that they are simply proposing more laws to “take action against excessive price rises on unbranded generic medicines.”
“No pharmaceutical company should exploit the NHS,” they said, reported MailOnline.
We are working closely with the Competition and Markets Authority on unwarranted price rises of unbranded generic medicines, and where companies have breached competition law, we will seek damages and invest that money in the NHS.
Sadly, these measures will likely be in vain.