Advocacy Groups: Asks Federal Trade Commission to Investigate Drug Prices in U.S.

Mar 19, 2012

CREW with Advocacy Groups Ask FTC to Investigate Anti-Competitive Practices of Vaccine Makers

Washington, D.C. – Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) the National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices (NLARx), the Campaign for America’s Future (CAF), and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to immediately investigate the vaccine bundling practices of Sanofi Pasteur and Merck, which make it harder for pediatricians to use the best vaccines for children.  Sanofi and Merck force pediatricians to buy vaccines in a bundle at a discount, or pay exorbitantly high prices to purchase vaccines individually.  As a result, some children may not receive the vaccines most suitable for them.

CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan stated, “When parents take their kids to the doctor, they expect the best medical care available, not the care dictated by drug companies seeking to maximize their profits.  Basically, doctors are asked to make a choice they can’t refuse.”

CREW first wrote to the FTC about this issue in 2010, but a whistleblower has now provided new details about the practice.  Vaccine discounts are conditioned on an express agreement that healthcare groups will purchase only a particular company’s vaccines. ….

…Sloan continued, “Parents assume doctors are making drug decisions based on the patient, but in fact, they are making decisions based on the price.  That will be cold comfort to a young woman who discovers she might have avoided cervical cancer if only she’d received the right vaccine as a girl.”

Read letter to the Federal Trade Commission  http://www.citizensforethics.org/page/-/PDFs/Legal/Investigation/3-19-12%20FTC%20Vaccine%20Bundling.pdf

Retrieved 03/21/12.

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You may not find vaccinations useful; you may think vaccination issues do not impact your prescription drugs.

But what happens when our doctor cannot write a prescription for the drug he/she thinks would benefit us the best?

Why is the pharmaceutical industry determining how our health care is delivered? Because they can.

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