SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

May 8, 2013

Cost of Cancer-drugs – immoral

Public health

Doctors call cancer-drug prices immoral

By Anna Edney BLOOMBERG NEWS

WASHINGTON — Cancer medicines that cost more than $100,000 a year aren’t morally justifiable and might keep patients from getting lifesaving treatments, a group of more than 100 leukemia doctors said.

Of the 12 cancer medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration last year, 11 cost more than $100,000 annually, the physicians said in an article in Blood, the journal of the American Society of Hematology, published online yesterday.

The paper highlights the debate over how much leeway drug-makers should have in setting the prices of new cancer medicines and whether pricing practices harm patients and hospitals.

While companies should be allowed to profit, a product that can help a patient survive should be priced affordably, the cancer specialists said.

“Hopes that the fundamentals of a free-market economy and market competition will settle cancer-drug prices at lower levels have not been fulfilled,” the doctors said in the paper.

Drug-makers said they charge prices for their treatments that were lower than those quoted in the article and pointed to assistance programs to help patients afford their medications.

Pfizer Inc., whose leukemia medicine Bosulif was approved in December and priced at about $98,000, helps financially eligible patients get their prescriptions free or at a savings, and insured patients pay no more than $50 a month, said Victoria Davis, a spokeswoman for Pfizer. The article said Bosulif costs $118,000 annually.

“Pfizer has developed various programs to support CML (chronic myeloid leukemia) patients gaining access to Bosulif,” Davis said.

(Jan’s comment:   To further substantiate this over-blown charging capacity which BIG PhRMA uses to maintain it’s financial integrity was highlighted in an article showing how India copes with this gouging.  They have been in court for 7 years over “patenting” rights and laws.  Pharmaceuticals use the patent to protect its interest and India won’t allow it.   India grants ‘generic’ firms to copy the meds and produce there as they feel that people simply cannot afford the medicine.  Imagine that! 

The article goes on to cite a myeloid leukemia medicine used also with other cancers running $2,600 a month, but with the generic version – – $175 monthly.  . big difference between getting well perhaps and dyeing.  This story ran 4-1-13 in the Dispatch and was from Associated Press, written by Nirmala George in case you want to seek it out yourself.    

It is so very much easier just to NOT GET SICK IN THE FIRST PLACE.   If people would just work it out to guard the body against toxins (including OTC and pharmaceuticals),  prepared foods which always are made with unpronounceable ingredients and almost everything in a box or can one gets at the market.    And instead, simplify, cook from scratch;   attempt to to ingest far more plant foods which is the perfect  food the body wants.  And since the true body nutrition comes mainly from the plant kingdom,  if we could/would load up on greens which deliver all those minerals and phytonutrients your body needs to run properly – – if people would it could make such a difference – – we wouldn’t need any of the pills or supplements, just some B vitamins, C and D  Drink filtered water instead of anything in a can.  We would all feel good, be energetic and be able to have the life we were meant to have.  Do what we need to do.    Easy for me to say?  Not really,  I have had to learn quite a few lessons and I’m not done yet.  But I’ll keep trying.  The sooner you take care of business, the better off you’re gonna be.    Be good to yourself.     Jan

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