Doctors Denounce Cancer Drug Prices of $100,000 a Year

More than 100 influential cancer specialists argued in a journal that some drug prices are unsustainable and perhaps even immoral.
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Pot calling the kettle black. Have you seen how much physician and hospital fees have climbed over the past 2 decades?

73 2018-06-21 22:04:58 - TR
It is incomprehensible to most how the pharmaceutical companies charge such outrageous prices, when for next to nothing anyone can acquire a very advanced, very complex and sophisticated piece of sci-fi wonderment like a smart phone. For us in daily contact with consumers of health care we keep educating those we come in contact with that the reason has nothing to do with the product itself but rather with the R&D expenditures and the many hoops a pharma company has to go through before the product reaches the market, if it does...

The real issues, that PPACA did not address, are among others: accessibility and affordability for the uninsurable; tort reform to place a limit on malpractice suits to in turn allow hospitals and physicians access to affordable malpractice insurance, and in turn stop the practice of defensive medicine by unnecessary, expensive, redundant tests; allow marketing of insurance nationally and across state lines; push for electronic record keeping and sharing of information; and decide if health care and the nation can continue to afford the restrictive and costly measures of HIPAA’s privacy laws; and revamp the entire FDA programs to allow new, innovative drugs come to market sooner than the typical 12 to 15 years of R&D which add zillions of dollars to their development and marketing cost.

Jorge L. Escala
0 2017-10-05 04:02:04 - Jorge

The doctors are missing the point. It is silly to ask companies to voluntarily lower their prices. What they should be advocating for is shorter terms of monopoly granted to patent holders. What is needed is more competition not appeals to altruism.

0 2017-09-07 21:32:07 - Privacy Guy

we can improve the system by more transperency and accountability

1. Creating a national web site so that patient can look at the price and compare the cost of chemo therapy and they make an informed decision. Patietns should be provided with the total cost of treat ment at inital consult. so that they won't get surprising and herat braking hospital bills.

2. Balck labelling the hospital charging huge amounts

3. Chemo drugs are same whether you get it from MD anderson or Mayo clinic. It is administered same way. Excuse for charge huge amount is over head, big building and maintaining these builidng and huge work force.

4. A single payer system will be the ideal way to address this issue.

5. Some of the institution is" too big to fail", only way they can make money is doing more tests which hardly help any patients.

0 2017-06-04 21:47:23 - Harris

The claim that "few patients pay the full cost of the drug" is infuriating. Apart from the few patients to whom drug companies provide drugs for free, patients DO pay the full cost of the drug - just not out of their own pockets, but via insurance. Which means, of course, that ALL of us are paying these high costs, in our medical insurance premiums.

1 2017-05-20 17:36:32 - george

Report him to his licensing board. That's sketchy and suggests he's in the pharma's pocket.

2 2017-04-15 05:44:52 - J

Profiteering isn't the proper word. Extortion is really more accurate. Your money or your life. All of your lifetime income or you're dead. Hurray for those who would out these robber barons!

20 2017-03-15 21:51:13 - KL

15 years ago, a vet told me that for $5K, they could keep my dog alive for another year. There was a less expensive way to alleviate his pain and end his suffering -- an option that isn't available to me. But I've already decided that keeping my raggedy butt going for a few more years is not worth bankrupting my survivors.

18 2017-02-21 06:24:33 - Don A

Lets be clear. These pharmaceutical companies have to pay for expensive things: golf outings, Las Vegas seminars, executive salaries, and other items which don't have honest value. Who pays for it all? Me and you via our insurance companies. Its a sick game that not many people can follow. But if you pay attention you realize how morally corrupt these guys are.

My mother is a nurse. She's worked in the same building for 50 years - since she was a teenager! I trust her when she says that "its wrong to profit off the sick." I thought about this for a long time, because I believe profits are a right of everyone. But I have come to realize that care needs to be compassionate first, not cut throat as it is in America. The surgeon general should be looking out for us!

30 2017-01-26 09:43:29 - Jake

I know a newly diagnosed with cancer man, self employed, who has two choices-- live but bankrupt his family or die leaving them reasonably solvent.

9 2017-01-17 09:50:10 - Airline Hater

If in fact Gleevec really does have five competitors, and the price of Gleevec (and the competitors) have gone up in the face of the competition, than price fixing by the competitors is clearly involved. There are laws against companies conspiring with each other to fix a prices. Maybe the laws should be applied.

102 2017-01-17 00:58:15 - W.A. Spitzer

I wrote a journal article in 2011 arguing that informed consent documents for clinical trials should include information about how much the sponsors expected to charge for the experimental treatment, if and when it was approved by the FDA. Currently IC documents include information about risks, benefits, alternatives, costs, confidentiality, etc., but nothing about how much the experimental drug will cost for future patients. If this information were included, both physicians and patients could make a choice as to whether to contribute to the study and approval of a drug that would prove to be prohibitively expensive for future patients.

And yes, it is reasonable to assume that the sponsors have some idea how much they are going to charge prior to approval; these are highly profitable businesses, after all.

3 2016-12-25 18:44:18 - Professor

"Dr. Berger said the price of Iclusig was $115,000 a year, not the $138,000 a year cited in the commentary. "

Oh, well, never mind.

Pharmaceutical executives are vampires.

4 2016-12-19 05:17:32 - richcpl

The key is Novartis's argument that the price of a drug reflects its value to the patients. Since the value of life is unlimited, this argument states that the price of any life-saving drug should likewise be unlimited.

16 2016-12-16 05:43:49 - Manny

It's about time that the greed of pharmaceutical companies be labeled as what it is: profiteering off sick people. Good for these MDs for standing up to them and bringing this issue to light! Perhaps it's time to look at more natural/alternative treatments for cancers...

40 2016-12-14 23:40:07 - Emily

Somehow, though, the pharmaceuticals manage to be quite profitable overall, even after accounting for lost investment in developing drugs that don't work.

0 2016-12-09 14:09:08 - Sue K
The pharmaceutical industry spends less on research than marketing and administration. The lion’s share of the research is funded by taxpayers through NIH.

Rx R&D Myths: The Case Against the Drug Industry’s R&D “Scare Card”

“An internal National Institutes of Health document, obtained by Public Citizen through the Freedom of Information Act, shows how crucial taxpayer-funded research is to top-selling drugs. According to the NIH, taxpayer-funded scientists conducted 55 percent of the research projects that led to the discovery and development of the top five selling drugs in 1995.

“Drug industry R&D is made less risky by the fact that only about 22 percent of the new drugs brought to market in the last two decades were innovative drugs that represented important therapeutic gains over existing drugs. Most were ‘me-too’ drugs, which often replicate existing successful drugs. In addition to receiving research subsidies, the drug industry is lightly taxed, thanks to tax credits.

“The drug industry’s top priority increasingly is advertising and marketing, more than R&D. Increases in drug industry advertising budgets have averaged almost 40 percent a year since the government relaxed rules on direct-to-consumer advertising in 1997. Moreover, the Fortune 500 drug companies dedicated 30 percent of their revenues to marketing and administration in the year 2000, and just 12 percent to R&D.”
10 2016-11-28 11:37:17 - RLS

Imagine finding out you have cancer -- that's crummy. Now imagine the reality of having chemo every Friday for 1-2 years, and it costs between $25,000-$45,000 EACH WEEK. Pay 20% of that after your deductible and this is why bankruptcy is inevitable. This does not include CT scans, MRI's, surgeries, doctor visits, or treatment for side effects. Medical costs can EASILY amount to $ONE-MILLION/year. IF you are not too ill to keep your job and lose your insurance, and you can afford the insurance rates to begin with: GOOD LUCK. This would even get the 1%'s attention. The health care/insurance system is totally out of control.

10 2016-11-26 17:25:32 - imjustsayin

What would a drug cost if pharmaceutical companies were banned from advertising them?

Probably a buck-fifty.

4 2016-11-24 14:27:46 - dmutchler

We started thinking that way when we started valuing human life. You know, always.

2 2016-11-23 13:10:56 - DRS

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