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UNREAL! Drug Company Hiked Opioid Overdose Treatment Prices 600 Percent Amid Opioid Crisis



As the most reliable and balanced news aggregation service in the world, RWN offers the following information published by: Daily Caller

A U.S. drug company hiked the price of its opioid overdose treatment over 600 percent since going to market in 2014, but the number of prescriptions filled for the drug skyrocketed.

Now the link between the drug’s price jump and drugmaker Kaleo’s ability to rake in cash from Medicare and other entities has been detailed in a Senate subcommittee investigation released Sunday evening.

Virginia-based Kaleo makes Evzio, an opioid overdose reversal drug containing naloxone. Naloxone is used in several kinds of opioid overdose treatments.

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But Evzio is different for two reasons. The first is that the injector is extremely easy to use. It even talks users through the injection process. The second is because of how much it costs — as of November, two injectors of Evzio cost approximately $4,100, according to the subcommittee report

That’s compared to the $125 price tag for two doses of Narcan, a nasal spray that also contains naloxone.

The subcommittee report on Evzio centers on the arrival of consultant Todd Smith at Kaleo.

Justin, a participant in a class on opioid overdose prevention held by non-profit Positive Health Project, practices with Naloxone on teacher Kieth Allen on August 9, 2017 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Justin, a participant in a class on opioid overdose prevention held by non-profit Positive Health Project, practices with Naloxone on teacher Kieth Allen on August 9, 2017 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Doctors typically prescribe Evzio when a patient is on prescription opioid painkillers as a safety precaution. Only 4,769 prescriptions of the treatment were filled in the year leading up to June 2015, according to the report. By January 2017, after an Evzio price hike that Smith recommended went through, Kaleo could boast 66,237 prescriptions filled in the past year.

Smith came up with a “scheme” to raise both Evzio’s price and prescription fill count without making patients pay a penny, according to the report. But insurance companies, Medicare and ultimately taxpayers ended up with the bill, reported CBS News.

“Naloxone is a critically important overdose reversal drug that our first responders have used to save tens of thousands of lives,” Republican Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who chairs the subcommittee, said in a statement Sunday. “The fact that one company dramatically raised the price of its naloxone drug and cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars in increased drug costs, all during a national opioid crisis no less, is simply outrageous.”

When insurance companies agreed to pay full price for Evzio, it could cover co-pays and even full drug costs for patients whose insurance companies didn’t cover the treatment. It costs Kaleo roughly $174 to make Evzio, according to Portman’s office.

“We raised the price to improve access to this product. … The big misperception is that by raising the price of Evzio we reduce the access to this product. The exact opposite is true,” Kaleo CEO Spencer Williamson said on CBS News’ “60 Minutes” Sunday.

But much of Evzio’s moneymaking came from Medicare. Before Smith arrived, doctors had to work to get Medicare and Medicaid to cover Evzio for patients because there were much cheaper options available. But Kaleo contracted with pharmacies to take care of paperwork defining Evzio as “medically necessary,” making prescribing the treatment a breeze for doctors.

Barry Bova holds a picture of his son Brad, who died of a heroin overdose, while marching through the streets of Norwalk against the epidemic of heroin on July 14, 2017 in Norwalk, Ohio. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Barry Bova holds a picture of his son Brad, who died of a heroin overdose, while marching through the streets of Norwalk against the epidemic of heroin on July 14, 2017 in Norwalk, Ohio. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

That investment paid off big for Kaleo. Only 24 percent of Evzio units sold went to Medicare and Medicaid patients in 2017’s first quarter, but those units made up nearly 75 percent of net sales ($7.94 million) of Evzio, according to the subcommittee report. Figures for commercial plans were nearly the inverse. In fact, Medicare paid an average of $3,522 per unit while commercial plans paid $367, according to the report.

“It raises — the overall health care cost for everybody. You and I, paying our premiums, are the ones paying for it,” an unnamed former Kaleo employee told CBS News.

Meanwhile, Smith’s consulting firm raked in more than $10 million over approximately two years. The payment rate “was based on revenue generated by the new distribution model,” according to the report.

Now Kaleo is floating returning to a price even lower than Evzio’s original price point of $575.

“We want to reach out to all middlemen, all insurance companies to say, ‘We will lower this price to less than the original $575 if you will make sure that when a physician decides a patient is at risk, they can get it and they can afford it,’” CEO Williamson said on “60 Minutes” Sunday.

Kaleo released the following statement in response to negative coverage:

We have recently been the subject of negative attention over the price of our drug, EVZIO. Obviously, we are disappointed with the way in which some of the facts are being presented and believe there is much more to this very complex story.  However, our commitment and intention remain simple – we aspire to make a meaningful difference in patients’ lives. We believe two facts are critical to the EVZIO story.  First, we have received voluntary reports from recipients of donated product that EVZIO has saved more than 5,500 lives since we launched the product in 2014. Second, we have never turned an annual profit on the sale of EVZIO. Patients, not profits, have driven our actions.

News of Kaleo’s pricing scheme comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that the U.S. had the most drug overdose deaths ever — approximately 72,000 — in 2017.

Naloxone, Evzio’s active ingredient, can reverse potentially fatal overdoses of both legal and illegal opioids. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams called for all Americans, not just first responders, to carry a form of naloxone with them at all times to save lives in April.

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White House Guests KNEEL During National Anthem, Trump Makes Them Immediately Regret It




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The Marine Corp band in their bright red uniforms were on the south balcony of the White House on a bright, sunny Tuesday in Washington, DC. The Army Chorus sang, beginning the event with ‘America the Beautiful’ and concluded with ‘God Bless America’. At least two people who were guests at President Trump’s Celebration of America event yesterday knelt, showing exactly why so many Americans are ticked over the National Anthem controversy.

The event replaced a celebration at the White House in honor of the Super Bowl win for the Philadelphia Eagles. These two disrespectful idiots took a knee as the “Star Spangled Banner” rang out across the South Lawn of the White House. Simply disgraceful. These aren’t social justice warriors… these are unpatriotic jerks.

A video was posted to Twitter by a reporter for SVT, the Swedish national public TV broadcaster. It shows a man, wearing a light blue button down, kneeling as the National Anthem played, before clapping and ultimately coming to his feet after the song finished. I guess he thought that was his five minutes of fame or something.

What it really amounted to was making a fool out of himself internationally. President Trump showcases all of these liberal dimwits for what they are… America-hating, radical leftists who are far more interested in hating our brave police officers and our country than they are in respecting America and taking national pride in their country and President.

When President Trump took the podium, he blew his audience away with his love for our country, military, police, flag and the National Anthem. He made every single person who disrespects them like this look like the small, craven liberals that they really are. The man, who did not identify himself, left the event immediately after the United States Marine Band performed the anthem, according to a news anchor for TV2 Denmark. Gee, crawling away with his tail between his legs like the lowly cur he his. Guess he couldn’t stand patriotism after he showed how much he hates his own country.

There was a second man who was pictured kneeling as well. That was posted to Twitter by a CNN White House producer. He was wearing a light blue checkered shirt and had a little American flag. This guy was right up front. He was also apparently the same person who reportedly heckled Trump. That guy was roundly booed by everyone around him. CNN’s analyst April Ryan posted false news on Twitter yesterday claiming people were booing Trump when it was the heckler they went after. She eventually retracted what she said after her own colleagues called her out on the lie. “Stop hiding behind the armed services and the National Anthem,” the guy yelled to a chorus of boos, according to the Daily Mail. “Let’s hear it for the Eagles.” “Go home,” one person shouted at the heckler.

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The President didn’t engage the heckler, but looked in his direction and pursed his lips. He looked like he wanted to smack him. Right there with ya.

President Trump disinvited the Philadelphia Eagles to the White House after they at first said they had more than 70 players coming to the People’s House to celebrate. By this week, that number had dropped to less than ten and then to only one player. They kept trying to change the date to one where President Trump would be out of the country. I don’t blame the President in the least for canceling the visit. That was totally appropriate. If you insist on being ungrateful and insulting a sitting President of the United States, then you don’t deserve the honor of going to the White House period.

Trump claimed on Monday that the team disagreed “with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country.” Eagles players denied that accusation, pointing out that no one on the team knelt for the anthem during last season. But that has nothing to do with how each individual on the team states his beliefs and shows his disrespect for President Trump.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders accused the team of a “political stunt” just minutes before Tuesday’s alternative event began, claiming the players had chosen to “abandon their fans.” That’s exactly what they did. “If this wasn’t a political stunt by the Eagles franchise then they wouldn’t have committed to attend the event and then backed out,” she said in her Tuesday press briefing. “And if it wasn’t a political stunt, they wouldn’t have attempted to reschedule the visit while the President was overseas.”

Trump was brief in his remarks and only spoke for about four minutes. He began by explaining why it’s an issue of patriotism for Americans to stand for the National Anthem. “We love our flag and stand for our National Anthem,” Trump said to great applause from the crowd on the South Lawn of the White House. “We stand to honor our military and to honor country and to honor the fallen heroes who never made it back home.” Yes, we do… and those that don’t can take a hike.

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Melania Unveils This Year’s White House Christmas Decorations That Libs Are SURE To Hate




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Melania Trump’s first year in office was marked by immense criticism of our incredible first lady, who in the eyes of the Trump family’s numerous detractors, Melania could do nothing right, or at least as well as her predecessor, Michelle Obama. This included her full Christmas decor plan, which was stunning in silver and white, and a beautiful modern take on the same tired style that Michelle un-creatively came up with.

This year’s decorations will likely be no different, if not worse.

Last year, liberals claimed she decked the halls in depression and gloom, likening it to looking more like a haunted house than a holiday home. So, what will they say about this year’s new look?

Chicks On The Right reports:

FLOTUS doesn’t just slay on the fashion front. Her decorating skills are off the charts. (Yes, yes– I know she didn’t do this by herself, but if you really believe she didn’t have a say, you’re nuuuuuuuuuuuuts.)

ANYWHO. She finally unveiled this year’s White House Christmas decorations, and they’re GORGEOUS.

You have no idea how much I want to stroll through those halls of beautifully decorated trees. Oh well. I’ll have to settle for the aisles of Hobby Lobby.

It all looks great. I’m obsessed. TY, that is all.

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