Your looney kidney worrier was right: The government is buying a lot of Viagra for cheap

Somebody make sure they’ve sterilized everything below eye level. The U.S. government is expected to announce Friday that it has reached a deal to buy enough of Pfizer’s vials of cheaper antiviral meds to…

Your looney kidney worrier was right: The government is buying a lot of Viagra for cheap

Somebody make sure they’ve sterilized everything below eye level.

The U.S. government is expected to announce Friday that it has reached a deal to buy enough of Pfizer’s vials of cheaper antiviral meds to treat 10 million people in 22 countries, including vulnerable people in the Sudan, North Korea and Syria, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The plan — the largest ever of its kind — was jointly announced by Pfizer, the Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization.

The unorthodox deal makes the U.S. the largest purchaser of medicines from the drugmaker, buying 2.9 billion doses of the drugs over the next five years.

“This is significant because this represents the first time that the United States government has negotiated lower prices for an unapproved drug in a large volume, so it’s going to be interesting to see if other countries follow in their footsteps,” said Andrew Briganti, a pharmaceutical strategist at the consulting firm Rymer Sage.

The deal, which represents about 5 percent of the Pfizer’s global sales, is part of an effort by the U.S. government to lower costs for immunization programs in vulnerable populations.

It’s also an experiment in the private-sector pharmaceutical market — it’s unprecedented for the government to purchase unapproved drugs, Briganti said.

After a nearly 50-day battle with health care spending champion Bernie Sanders, who was on Pfizer’s case after the company initially balked at the cheaper costs, the government agreed to buy the company’s antiviral levofloxacin antifungal medication. The FDA approved the medications’ use on Thursday.

Most of the pharmaceuticals sold in the U.S. have not been approved by the FDA, Briganti said.

“This is incredibly important because it can be expensive to get the right treatments to the people who really need them,” he said.

Leave a Comment