Sunday, June 8, 2014

A bit more on cancer costs

I am starting to see the light here on the causes of spiraling cancer drug costs.
Please watch this short (3 minute) video. It provides a few key points.
  1. Pharmaceutical manufacturers got a drug approved at a lower retail price and then tripled the amount from $30K/year to $93K/year.
  2. Pharmaceutical manufacturers expect the insurance companies to pick up the tabs which really doesn't save any one any more because we get higher insurance rates in return.
  3. Pharmaceutical manufacturers have been known to cut the prices of their drugs in response to market pressure
  4. Pharmaceutical manufacturers claim that it costs $5 billion to bring a new drug to market. 
Even if it does cost $5 billion to get a new drug to market, at $100K/year it really doesn't take very much time to recoup the costs. 50,000 doses at $100K/year equals $5 billion.

Tell me there aren't 50,000 patients who need these drugs? One example in the video talks about a new drug for leukemia. According to the ACS, there are more than 50,000 new cases of leukemia diagnosed each year. So there must be quite a few of them around who could benefit from the medication.

I think I have it now.

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