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Drug Trends

Are Drugs too expensive “at any price”?

3 years, 6 months ago

8637  0
Posted on Aug 28, 2017, 9 a.m.

Diving deep on pharmaceutical ROI

In an article by Jim Kozubek on August 17, 2017 entitled “We've Already Got Socialized Medicine… Unfortunately, the biggest recipients of government help are the pharmaceutical companies, not patients” he discussed approval of genetically engineered T-Cells for commercial sale. “On July 12, an FDA panel recommended approval of the first genetically engineered T cell for commercial sale to treat childhood leukemia.”

Engineered T cells will no doubt be in high demand as they become avialble. Unfortunately, this drug could eventually cost up to $300,000 per patient; a price that only multi-millionaires could afford. As with any new drug, Medicare and regular insurance companies will never pay such usurious prices.

This author wonders … What ever happened to doing good for good sake? Whatever happened to sharing knowledge for the good of all mankind? The trend in the pharmaceutical world today is to see what the market will bear and then re-adjust over the time it takes for the patent to run out.

Of course, our hope is that as time goes on the price will come down. A prime example is the drug Prilosec originally marketing in the mid-nineties retailed for $150-$225 (about $5-6 per pill) for a 30-day supply. Today one can purchase a 90-day supply over the counter for about $18-22 or $0.22/ea.

Cancer therapy has always been a big business not only for the pharmaceutical companies but for the enormous institutions that have built up around it. It’s no wonder the powers that be are not interested in any alternative therapy ideas (such as CBD’s) that may prove to be more effective and far less expensive that what we have now.

With prices even at a fraction of what some companies charge as well as hospitals (e.g. $750,000 for a Quad by-pass) it’s no wonder more and more people are forced into poverty and therefore have to rely on welfare to exist. There is no time like the present to reconsider national healthcare for everyone.

As Kozubek writes: “The Trump administration keeps threatening to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which suggests new inequalities to health care access. This will only be made worse by expensive new drugs, which test the limits of insurance reimbursement. However, even a single-payor system is unlikely to help to ensure access to such staggeringly expensive biologics. For instance, the National Health Services in Britain will be hard pressed to reimburse for six-figure biologics. If so, the only ethical action would be to use the power of the state to force down the cost of such cancer drugs.”

“Editas Medicine, a spinout of Harvard and MIT’s Broad Institute, which claims exclusive rights to medical applications of CRISPR-Cas9, signed a highly profitable $737 million deal with cancer T-cell company Juno Therapeutics.”

“A conservative argument against socialized medicine is based on the tragic vision of human nature, which suggests that people are guided by innate self-interests, and that society—and, by implication, biotech—requires constraint through moral and legal checks. The reality is that (many people) harbor a genetic variant that predicts a rare genetic disorder, or cancer, and we certainly can’t afford to correct every anomaly in nature. However, a counter-position is that we are already participating in socialized medicine through funding the National Institutes of Health, which subsidizes the risk and cost of investigating drug targets and tools, not to mention results in generous salaries for many scientists.”

“That cancer patients should be criticized for depending on socialized medicine on the consumer end conceals the fact that scientists depend on taxpayers to subsidize their careers, while developing many of the technologies in academic settings and then profiteering them out. The high profile patent battle over CRISPR gene editing system was one of these situations, which resulted in a mix of philanthropic and public money paying for the invention of a technology that is now enrapt in a web of financial dealings not to mention bitter rivalries”

He goes on to say that Novartis who manufactures the new drug only spends $25,000 to produce it; then resells for $300,000. While there is no harm in profit, there should be limit when it comes to death and dying.

The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of World Health and A4M.

Dr. Michael J. Koch, Editor with and for Dr. Ronald Klatz, DO, MD President of the A4M has 28,000 Physician Members, has trained over 150,000 Physicians, health professionals and scientists in the new specialty of Anti-aging medicine. Estimates of their patients numbering in the 100’s of millions World Wide that are living better stronger, healthier and longer

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