- There are no biosimilars (think generics) to help bring down the costs. And the biotech companies have been fighting them with multiple lawsuits to prevent them.
- Salaries have caught up with pharmaceutical companies.
- Prices have started to make headlines.
'While we are seeing a profusion of breakthrough treatments..., the price is often determined by asking, “What’s the highest price I can charge and get away with,” said Alison Taunton-Rigby, a former biotech executive who serves on several corporate and nonprofit boards. Speaking at a recent industry conference, Taunton-Rigby said, “It’s an attitude we need to talk about. I think we actually have a black mark against us as an industry.”'
'Many in the industry will complain that they need these high prices to justify the millions of dollars burned bringing a new drug to market, and attract new investment to cultivate the next generation of drugs. But the industry needs to consider ways to trade short-term “profit maximization” for its own long-term vibrancy.'
The biotech industry has been producing drugs which save lives but also cost more than the average house for a course of treatment. With a house, you can get a mortgage with a prescription, you and your insurance company will go broke. An example of the new Hepatitis C drug which costs $84,000 for a 7 month course which cures 90% of the patients. That's cheap compared to a $175,000 liver transplant.
A new drug to come out later this year for Cystic Fibrosis will cost over $300,000 per year. That would be the same as buying a new house every year. Who can afford that?