Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The big scary headline

The latest big scary headline from the pharmaceutical industry says that it will cost $2.5 billion to bring a new drug to market. That's a lot of hype over a little factoid. And this kind of thing pisses me off. Increasing drug prices are an increasing part of medical costs in recent years.

First of all, yes that is a hell of a lot of money. There is no denying that. Second of all, its not as big as it sounds in terms of how they will recoup their money. For example.

If a new drug is developed that will treat a mere 10,000 people each year and costs $5000 per month (not an unexpected amount), it will take the drug companies 4.17 years to recoup their expenses. 10,000x$5,000x12=$600,000,000. $600,000,000x4.17=$2,500,000,000.

And this is why I really have no patience with the drama from the pharmaceutical industry:

"Development costs are one factor companies use in determining how much they will charge for newly approved prescription drugs. But they also weigh demand, the competitive market in their therapeutic areas, and the value they believe a treatment can provide to patients."

So if you thought the so-called 'death panels' were going to put a dollar value on human life, you don't need to worry because the pharma industry already did when they include the 'value they believe a treatment can provide to patients'.

But I do understand the value the pharmaceutical industry brings to medical advancement. I just have a problem with the dollar amounts and drama.

1 comment:

Tami Boehmer said...

I just was listening to a story on this on NPR today. They were talking about the development of a new Cystic Fibrosis drug. I do feel sorry for people with rare disorders. Drug companies don't see the profit in developing drugs for them. In the meantime, people die.