Jun 9, 2017

How charities funded by drug companies help boost drug sales

ccPixs.com / Flickr Creative Commons

The Wall Street Journal has a smart and important piece about a murky side of high drug prices. It looks at the charities that help patients pay their out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs — but also get hundreds of million dollars a year from drug companies. And in helping the patients cover their costs, the charities help drug companies boost their sales.

The new plot twist: Federal prosecutors are investigating the charities that help Medicare patients, and now donations to charities that help pay for prostate cancer drugs have slowed down — and sales of prostate cancer drugs have plummeted.

Why it matters: There's been a lot of debate about whether financial assistance programs help keep drug costs high, because there's no consequence to the drug companies as long as patients can keep buying them.

Go deeper

Scoop: Amazon's local podcast play

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Amazon is looking to invest in localized podcast content, like news and sports, sources tell Axios. Sports content is top of mind as the company plans to buy up more TV rights and have adjacent audio content for users.

Why it matters: Amazon sees a strategic advantage in podcasts by leveraging Alexa voice tech to help users discover personalized content.

The oil stakes of Trump vs. Biden

Reproduced from Rapidan Energy Group; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. oil production is in a steep decline, but one question is how much November's elections will affect how much it does — or doesn't — bounce back.

Why it matters: The powerful price and demand headwinds from the coronavirus pandemic are creating a financial crisis in the oil patch.

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