Thursday, April 24, 2014

Yes that is too expensive

The UK's, NHS has said they won't pay for Roche's new Herceptin like drug called Kadcyla because they have deemed it too expensive for what it does. The cost is a paltry 90,000 pounds or just over $150,000 per patient and it extends a woman's  life with metastatic breast cancer a median of 5.8 months.

Currently there is the Cancer Drug Fund which  will pay for the drugs in the UK that are not covered by the NHS but that fund runs out in 2016. The decision is being criticized by Roche and some charities saying that the NHS has turned down too many breast cancer drugs recently. But I really think the cost is out of line.

No you cannot put a price on someone's life as I have stated before but this is a bit much. My complaint here is with Roche and other manufacturers who price their medications so high, and essentially put a price on a patient's life. The claim is that development for new drugs costs so much that the prices end up so high.

Roche's sales in 2013 were over $50 billion with profits of around $17 billion. So they can't use some of those few billions to pay for the development costs of other drugs? And the shareholders saw their dividends increase by 6% from 2012. I have zero sympathy here. But I am sure their shareholders  nd executives are happy.

And let me guess if they can't get this price overseas, they will charge the American patients the full price.

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