Shift Shapers Podcast

22 Jun 2020

Ep #317: Target and Tame the Drug Spend Monster – With Pramod John

David Saltzman 0 Comments

This episode of The ShiftShapers Podcast is called “Target and Tame the Drug Spend Monster” with Pramod John, Founder and CEO at VIVIO Health. They discuss the changing nature of specialty drugs as adjuvant therapies and the skyrocketing costs that come with it.

Pramod also discusses the case of Humira biosimilars and AbbVie’s threat to litigate, resulting in it being unavailable in the US. He further explains the broken system that favors big pharma, its detrimental effect on regular citizens, and what we can do about it.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • 03:31 Growth of specialty drugs & adjuvant therapies
  • 06:16 TNF inhibitors, Humira biosims & AbbVie’s threat to litigate
  • 13:25 Why do Americans pay more for specialty drugs?
  • 19:29 Standing up against unfair pricing


06:08 “If you can put them on adjuvant therapies, whether it extends your life or not and no one’s paying attention, it’s a huge moneymaking machine for pharma.”

07:59 “Humira’s biosim is not available in the US market because AbbVie has threatened to litigate against the 5 manufacturers or 6 manufacturers of biosims.”

16:33 “The government failed because the government has neither price controls to say look, you can’t just charge a bazillion dollars because you want to.”

19:14 “Manufacturers can charge insane prices for a drug that no one else in any part of the world will pay because we’re concentrating more and more dollars from larger and larger number of people into a smaller and smaller number of people.”

21:23 “Until the American people say we’ve had enough to the politicians and everyone else, it’s very difficult to change these things economically because you’re fighting against monopolies.”

Listen to the Full Interview:

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