[U] Trying To Decide Whether I’ll Closely-Cover The Coming Congressional Pricing Hearings…

Updated 10 PM EST on 02.19.2019: Merck saw a surprise null result in HCC, one difficult cancer, with pembrolizumab tonight — after getting FDA priority review for the indication. It won’t change the big picture here — but worth watching, should we see other null results. Cancer is a bafflingly complex disease — and it varies greatly by affected organ or system. That’s the object lesson. [End, updated portion. H/T to my buddy Matt Herper for the lede.]

I am honestly conflicted — and more than a little jaded — after PhRMA was largely able to blunt the pricing measures we designed into what ultimately became the ACA of 2010. There will be many voices, with equally cogent insights, on it all. So, we shall see — if I see a void in the coverage.

[I do like that STAT has labeled Merck’s Mr. Frazier as the “Saint” — heading into hearing day, on next Tuesday.  By way of background, a little over a decade ago — and around two million visitors ago, I closely covered the Congressional hearings and resulting investigations, into what was then “Fast” Fred Hassan’s / Schering-Plough’s Vytorin® (dubious efficacy, coupled to ridiculous pricing). I did also follow several lower profile post 2009 US health care reform moves, more generally for pricing effects, in some detail. So I have done this dance, more than once before. . . .]

But however this one rolls out — at least I have a snappy graphic, piping hot and ready to rock, from my pixel oven — for the hybrid approach big multinationals ought to adopt. . . as a mantra. See at right. It is a riff on the last one I made, from the good pembrolizumab renal carcinoma results. Turn-about it seems, is fair play, here.

Onward — and. . . sleep tight, all you little buck-a-roos and buck-a-rettes. . . . smile.

नमस्ते

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