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(The Wire)   Great news: there is a new drug on the market that cures 95% of Hepatitis C patients, saving them from liver transplants or liver cancer. Not-so-great news: it costs $1,000 a day and has to be taken for 12 weeks   (thewire.com) divider line 116
    More: Interesting, hepatitis C, liver transplant, Sovaldi, Gilead Sciences, Henry Waxman, forensic biologist, patients, insurance companies  
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3109 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Apr 2014 at 1:59 PM (29 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-02 02:58:26 PM  

Acravius: That is why the $85,000 price tag is so galling for this instance of corporate greed.


Thanks for breaking this down so clearly.


YOu can be fine with corporate proficts and find this deeply morally offensive.
 
2014-04-02 03:02:35 PM  

Acravius: papafree

The first AIDS/HIV cocktails were 20K per monthly treatment dose, that's what the movie Dallas Buyer's Club was all about, and at the time they could be gotten more cheaply in Mexico. Now the improved cocktail is being sold to developing nations at $0.40/day to keep people "below detectable levels"

I don't have a problem with a corporation making profit, but the cost of producing the entire 85 day treatment regimin is only $3.60 in material costs. They are charging $85,000 per treatment cycle.
They only need ~135,000 people treated to recoup their investment and there are 65 Million potential patients.
Even if they charged $1,000 per 85 day treatment cycle they would still have an approximate ~6 times ROI of their $11 Billion distribution right package cost.

That is what is so disgraceful about this story.


THIS
 
2014-04-02 03:04:42 PM  

SphericalTime: Yeah, I recently had a scary false positive Hep C test, and my doctors were planning on putting me on this.  The side effects are also a bit scary.

Good thing, I've had two clean tests since then, so yeah, don't need to do this.


I start next week.

/already feel like shiat
//but better than death, I suppose
///went through Hep B in '94
 
2014-04-02 03:06:27 PM  
I'll throw in my CSB.  Two years ago my father was treated for prostate cancer.  Detected very early, did not require chemo or radiation.  He had cryo-surgery and a 1 night hospital stay.  Just one of the shots he received before the surgery "cost" $1400.  He had already reached his out-of-pocket deductible and paid nothing.  The insurance company paid about $500 if memory serves.  The rest of the balance just disappeared into an accounting black hole, presumably.

The medical care crisis in the US is not that too many people are uninsured, it's that hospitals, pharma companies, and insurance are all operating on a for-profit basis, and in the case of pharma and insurance (and many hospitals) must answer to utterly rapacious shareholders and senior boards.  It's a 3-way collision at full speed.  Especially since these three sectors can only maximize their profits by screwing each other.

It's not going to get better any time soon because the so-called "Affordable Care Act" doesn't actually do anything to control costs.  It just makes everyone ante into this utterly corrupt system.
 
2014-04-02 03:07:36 PM  
Good, now I won't have to wear a rubber if I ever get the chance to bang Pamela Anderson.
 
2014-04-02 03:07:41 PM  
Cases like this make me think it'd be a good idea to allow medical exemptions for patents.  Basically an entity is allowed to claim use of another entity's patent for medical reasons, and must pay use fees to the patent holder.  By introducing an element of competition it's likely to limit some of the more outrageous price gouging, while still retaining the incentive to own the patent.
 
2014-04-02 03:08:07 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: b2theory: It sucks when you apply a profit margin to life saving products.

That is why most industrialized nations have had the good sense to socialize medicine.


How many miracle drugs like this have they produced?

It would be interesting to see a list of the biggest pharma companies not counting their US sales.
 
2014-04-02 03:09:44 PM  

monoski: pippi longstocking: It doesn't cost $1000, they want $1000 because the American healthcare system is a huge money sink that idiots are willing to feed.

Blue Cross will haggle them down. $1000 will be the sticker price.
//I had a surgery recently. The sticker price was $200k, Blue Cross paid about $70k and I paid just over $2k.
///Not only is the American health care system a huge pot of money but it is not clearly priced out.


Pretty much this. Drug pricing in the US is completely impenetrable, because each insurance company negotiates its own rates. Gilead is just starting the bidding at 84k, none of the big companies will pay close to that. Of course, for Medicare, who can't legally haggle with them, this is a problem. I imagine that's why the outraged quote in the article is from a guy whose company manages state Medicare plans. The Brits are the example of the right way to handle drug pricing. When an expensive drug gets approval, they have an independent body review it's cost effectiveness based on how much extra quality of life and time of life it adds and it's cost. If it doesn't meet their standard (which isn't exact, but is something like 30,000 pounds per quality adjusted year of life), they deny the drug listing in the British National Formulary, meaning that it's still legal but the NHS won't pay for it. As a result, prices for new drugs in the UK are something like 50% of what they are in the states.
 
2014-04-02 03:10:05 PM  
Do you get a discount if you throw in one of your kidney's?
 
2014-04-02 03:10:45 PM  
Have the - I don't care that it cost 10 billion to research and develop it should be given away at 5 cents a pill and FREE to those who post the best sob story on the internet -  people come out yet? Those people are funny.
 
2014-04-02 03:10:54 PM  
Will the 5% that can't be cured evolve into a super Hepatitis?
 
2014-04-02 03:12:18 PM  

Magorn: My lawyer brain wonders why if we can use eminent domain to seize some poor schlub's house to make way for a freeway bypass because that's "for the public good" why we couldn' also do that to the patent on a drug like this.   Let a jury decide what "just compensation and "Fair market value" for the patent is,  Let the fed gov pay them in a lump sum and then turn the damn thing into a generic that costs $2 per pill.

And before you start screaming "socialism"   and "Would destroy the incentive to innovate" please keep in mind that the US defense Department has been doing this for YEARS, essentially seizing patents they want (or just ignoring them) in the name of "national security"


Magorn, I had exactly the same thought.  Especially, in an instance where it was likely a grant from the govt, or govt funded research that leads to a breakthrough on a drug like this.

And, as you pointed out that this practice is not all that uncommon when it comes to patents and the military.  (Where not only do they "sieze" the patent, but they pull the entire patent application from the records to keep the contents "secret" thus denying the inventor any profits, but puts them under a secrecy order not to disclose or discuss the patentable material with anyone without govt approval.)
 
2014-04-02 03:13:54 PM  
It's not often where I hope both sides lose. Although it's quite fun watching one set of greedy bastards get mad at another set of greedy bastards.

/But then I'm too poor to be sick.
 
2014-04-02 03:15:19 PM  

papafree: Marcus Aurelius: Gilead Sciences believes the focus is in all the wrong places. "Critics have focused on the per-pill cost or per-bottle cost, but that is really not relevant here. It's how much it costs to cure your patient," said Gregg Alton, Gilead's executive vice president of corporate and medical affairs

In other words, it doesn't matter that it only costs them $1 per pill to manufacture.  They get to price it at the same cost as a liver transplant.

This is perfectly legal, of course, even if it is utterly immoral.  But reeling in $83,000 of profit on every patient sure does assuage one's conscience, if one has one left after this kind of profiteering.

Pharmaceutical shill here. Yeah, it might cost $1 for the raw ingredients to make the pill, but there are other costs. Like the wages of the people who press the tablets, the clean room that the tablets are made in, the wages of the researchers who figured out the treatment was going to work, the clinical and safety studies that needed to be performed. The quality testing, the IT guy that maintains the servers. All of that is overhead and labor. What about the salaries of regulatory people who process the paperwork to get it approved with the FDA. What about marketing? Should pharmaceuticals be barred from advertising?

How much do you think cars could be sold for if the car manufacturers didn't have to spend money on safety tests?
Do you think car companies are acting ethically by pulling in profits after inflating car prices because of their bloated advertising budgets?

I don't like that these drugs cost thousands either, and I, like you, would really like to see socialized medicine happen. But don't pretend that pharmaceuticals manufacture these drugs on the cheap in order to maximize profits. Because if you think that's unethical, you should take a closer look at supplement companies, who are not subject to nearly the same scrutiny and regulations that pharmaceuticals are.



HA HA HA, like this drug would be available to anyone but your new political gods under socialized medicine. First of all it would never have been developed, but under the insane fantasy it would of been developed under socialized medicine that it would be available to the little people, lol.
 
2014-04-02 03:17:15 PM  

Acravius: I'm sure glad, aspirin, the polio, MMR, and other vaccines/treatments/procedures that we've had for about 60 years, wasn't distributed this way.
Hopefully they'll go to the AIDS/HIV treatment capacity quickly and for $0.40 a day, they can treat and cure Hep C, and take pride in knowing that they have the capacity to make another one of the devastating diseases of the world go the way of Small Pox.


My knowledge of Hep-C is limited, but wouldn't purging it from the 65 million odd people in the US then eliminate it basically at that point from being transmitted into other people? (At least in the US unless outsiders bring it in)
 
2014-04-02 03:17:59 PM  

zero7717: If a nonprofit organization made these drugs, the cost wouldn't be much lower. >_>

Development cost DOES matter. Drugs are hard as fark to make, because for all science has discovered about how the human body works, there's a hell of a lot more we don't know about it. A lot of drugs fail during the clinical trials because, despite working on rats (the next-best thing to primates, evolutionarily speaking) or cell cultures, there's a big enough difference between those and an entire human that they suddenly don't meet the FDA's safety and/or efficacy standards when applied to the humans -- and if the FDA says they can't sell a drug, then they can't sell a drug (the bar is lower for drugs that treat/cure things with little or no treatments/cures, mind you).

So you have all these failed drugs that you spent a buttload of money on, and once in a while you find a good one, one that works. What do you do? Even if you're a nonprofit organization and just want to break even, you still want to make up for all the development costs -- not just of that drug, but of all the ones that didn't pan out.

What's more, there's a finite amount of time you can make significant money off that pill, because of patents -- a blessing and a curse for both the sick and the corporations alike. They grant a legal monopoly on that drug, but for a finite amount of time. One of the requirements for filing a patent is that you have to give a pretty good description of how to make the thing, so the moment it wears off, everyone else can start making and selling it -- including the generic drug companies that spend little or no money making new drugs, and thus can afford to sell them at low prices (they might have an R&D budget for making the drugs more efficiently, though).

So not only do you need to recover those development costs before you can make a profit (or break even), but you have a finite amount of time (still a fairly long time, though. How long do drug patents last? 20 years?), ...


But they HAD no development costs, they BOUGHT it from the lab that did and that purchase price set the market.  And I would be very curious to know how much of the foundational research foe this drug was conducted by a publicly-funded university or under a grant from HHS?
 
2014-04-02 03:23:13 PM  

cchris_39: How many miracle drugs like this have they produced?


Just in the US alone:

Altogether, they gave 75 PSRIs (public sector research institution) credit for inventing 153 new drugs that won FDA approval from 1970 to 2009. The NIH was responsible for 22 of the drugs on that list, and the University of California system came in second with 11. Rounding out the top five PSRIs were Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York with eight, Emory University in Atlanta with seven, and Yale University in New Haven, Conn., with six. Virtually half of the new drugs were developed for treating cancer or infectious disease.

And these weren't just run-of-the-mill drugs - they were important ones. For instance, 46% of the drugs developed by PSRIs got priority reviews from the FDA (an indication that they offered a substantial improvement over existing treatments), compared with 20% of the drugs from the private sector.

In addition, the researchers wrote, "Virtually all the important, innovative vaccines that have been introduced during the past 25 years have been created by PSRIs."

Public research institutions were also particularly good at identifying new uses for existing drugs. From 1990 to 2007, the FDA approved only 10 such requests; nine of them originated in PSRIs, according to the study.

Overall, the team concluded, "PSRIs tend to discover drugs that are expected to have a disproportionately important clinical effect."


http://articles.latimes.com/2011/feb/10/news/la-heb-drug-development -t axpayers-20110210
 
2014-04-02 03:25:59 PM  
KellyX

If all 65 Million people were treated, the chance of reinfection would go down to nearly 0,
Hep C is primarily spread through blood contact

Here is some more information from the CDC about exposure and infection risks:

http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/c/cfaq.htm
 
2014-04-02 03:28:27 PM  

Acravius: KellyX

If all 65 Million people were treated, the chance of reinfection would go down to nearly 0,
Hep C is primarily spread through blood contact

Here is some more information from the CDC about exposure and infection risks:

http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/c/cfaq.htm


So basically they could in theory eradicate this disease from the world if they gave a shiat?
 
2014-04-02 03:32:02 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: Magorn: My lawyer brain wonders why if we can use eminent domain to seize some poor schlub's house to make way for a freeway bypass because that's "for the public good" why we couldn' also do that to the patent on a drug like this. Let a jury decide what "just compensation and "Fair market value" for the patent is, Let the fed gov pay them in a lump sum and then turn the damn thing into a generic that costs $2 per pill.

And before you start screaming "socialism" and "Would destroy the incentive to innovate" please keep in mind that the US defense Department has been doing this for YEARS, essentially seizing patents they want (or just ignoring them) in the name of "national security"

That would be highly entertaining to watch.  I'd love hear the media tell everyone how unfair it is for a company to not get $83,000 of profit from a drug treatment.

b2theory: How much did it cost to develop from chemistry to clinical trials?

My guess would be the same as most other drugs.  But development cost is unimportant.  There's lots of opportunities for price gouging, with companies buying up "orphan" drugs and quadrupling the price overnight.

It's all about charging the absolute most that the market will bear.  Never mind that these are sick people, they have to pay.  And if they can't pay, then they'll just die.  That's the American way.


So your guess is as much as other drugs? How much is that? You can't just look at the manufacturing cost once all the R&D is done. Hell at that point the drug company would lose money.

Also what is the cost of a liver transplant? Much more cost effective at $83k a pop than the cost of a transplant. Also much easier to ramp up production of the pills than it is liver doners.
 
2014-04-02 03:33:06 PM  

Magorn: zero7717: If a nonprofit organization made these drugs, the cost wouldn't be much lower. >_>

Development cost DOES matter. Drugs are hard as fark to make, because for all science has discovered about how the human body works, there's a hell of a lot more we don't know about it. A lot of drugs fail during the clinical trials because, despite working on rats (the next-best thing to primates, evolutionarily speaking) or cell cultures, there's a big enough difference between those and an entire human that they suddenly don't meet the FDA's safety and/or efficacy standards when applied to the humans -- and if the FDA says they can't sell a drug, then they can't sell a drug (the bar is lower for drugs that treat/cure things with little or no treatments/cures, mind you).

So you have all these failed drugs that you spent a buttload of money on, and once in a while you find a good one, one that works. What do you do? Even if you're a nonprofit organization and just want to break even, you still want to make up for all the development costs -- not just of that drug, but of all the ones that didn't pan out.

What's more, there's a finite amount of time you can make significant money off that pill, because of patents -- a blessing and a curse for both the sick and the corporations alike. They grant a legal monopoly on that drug, but for a finite amount of time. One of the requirements for filing a patent is that you have to give a pretty good description of how to make the thing, so the moment it wears off, everyone else can start making and selling it -- including the generic drug companies that spend little or no money making new drugs, and thus can afford to sell them at low prices (they might have an R&D budget for making the drugs more efficiently, though).

So not only do you need to recover those development costs before you can make a profit (or break even), but you have a finite amount of time (still a fairly long time, though. How long do drug patents last? 20 ...


Stage 2 and Stage 3 trials as well as ramping up mass production/quality assurance are part of development cost contrary to whatever stupid derp you're trying to push
 
2014-04-02 03:33:56 PM  
Only $1000 a pill?  Chump change.
 
2014-04-02 03:34:11 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: Gilead Sciences believes the focus is in all the wrong places. "Critics have focused on the per-pill cost or per-bottle cost, but that is really not relevant here. It's how much it costs to cure your patient," said Gregg Alton, Gilead's executive vice president of corporate and medical affairs

In other words, it doesn't matter that it only costs them $1 per pill to manufacture.  They get to price it at the same cost as a liver transplant.

This is perfectly legal, of course, even if it is utterly immoral.  But reeling in $83,000 of profit on every patient sure does assuage one's conscience, if one has one left after this kind of profiteering.


This is a good argument for looking at how medicine patents work.

Without the profit incentive, companies wouldn't do any research. But surely a state actor could decide how much of a profit is acceptable, or needed, for that incentive to exist.
 
2014-04-02 03:35:45 PM  
Let's try this again.

firstworldfacts.com

This is of interset to me.
 
2014-04-02 03:41:44 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: Gilead Sciences believes the focus is in all the wrong places. "Critics have focused on the per-pill cost or per-bottle cost, but that is really not relevant here. It's how much it costs to cure your patient," said Gregg Alton, Gilead's executive vice president of corporate and medical affairs


Truly the Jonas Salks of their day.
 
2014-04-02 03:43:50 PM  

flynn80: Will the 5% that can't be cured evolve into a super Hepatitis?


I'd make super sure not to swap superfluids with them.
 
2014-04-02 03:45:24 PM  
KellyX

If they aggressively treated everyone, they would get a 95% cure rate, which would still leave 1.3 million infected/infectious, worldwide.

However if those remaining people did not infect others, then within 40 years, Hepatitus C would be reduced to a frozen lab sample for the most part.
 
2014-04-02 03:52:42 PM  

Banned on the Run: Marcus Aurelius: Gilead Sciences believes the focus is in all the wrong places. "Critics have focused on the per-pill cost or per-bottle cost, but that is really not relevant here. It's how much it costs to cure your patient," said Gregg Alton, Gilead's executive vice president of corporate and medical affairs

In other words, it doesn't matter that it only costs them $1 per pill to manufacture.  They get to price it at the same cost as a liver transplant.

This is perfectly legal, of course, even if it is utterly immoral.  But reeling in $83,000 of profit on every patient sure does assuage one's conscience, if one has one left after this kind of profiteering.

Sorry to burst your corporation hate bubble, but they won't be making a profit for years


Maybe as a society we shouldn't be looking to profit centers for life saving drugs.
 
2014-04-02 03:55:10 PM  

Magorn: My lawyer brain wonders why if we can use eminent domain to seize some poor schlub's house to make way for a freeway bypass because that's "for the public good" why we couldn' also do that to the patent on a drug like this. Let a jury decide what "just compensation and "Fair market value" for the patent is, Let the fed gov pay them in a lump sum and then turn the damn thing into a generic that costs $2 per pill.

And before you start screaming "socialism" and "Would destroy the incentive to innovate" please keep in mind that the US defense Department has been doing this for YEARS, essentially seizing patents they want (or just ignoring them) in the name of "national security"


As patents are merely creatures of statute, Congress totally could so this.  The trick is I think most of the major manufacturers would flee the fark out of the US is the congress actually started doing the moral thing, so they don't.
 
2014-04-02 04:00:25 PM  

Teiritzamna: Magorn: My lawyer brain wonders why if we can use eminent domain to seize some poor schlub's house to make way for a freeway bypass because that's "for the public good" why we couldn' also do that to the patent on a drug like this. Let a jury decide what "just compensation and "Fair market value" for the patent is, Let the fed gov pay them in a lump sum and then turn the damn thing into a generic that costs $2 per pill.

And before you start screaming "socialism" and "Would destroy the incentive to innovate" please keep in mind that the US defense Department has been doing this for YEARS, essentially seizing patents they want (or just ignoring them) in the name of "national security"

As patents are merely creatures of statute, Congress totally could so this.  The trick is I think most of the major manufacturers would flee the fark out of the US is the congress actually started doing the moral thing, so they don't.


And go where? India and Africa basically do this already, and Europe has a very low tolerance for profiteering Shenanigans and in China or Russia the government's response to creating a drug like this would be *yoink*
 
2014-04-02 04:07:47 PM  

Banned on the Run: Marcus Aurelius: Gilead Sciences believes the focus is in all the wrong places. "Critics have focused on the per-pill cost or per-bottle cost, but that is really not relevant here. It's how much it costs to cure your patient," said Gregg Alton, Gilead's executive vice president of corporate and medical affairs

In other words, it doesn't matter that it only costs them $1 per pill to manufacture.  They get to price it at the same cost as a liver transplant.

This is perfectly legal, of course, even if it is utterly immoral.  But reeling in $83,000 of profit on every patient sure does assuage one's conscience, if one has one left after this kind of profiteering.

Sorry to burst your corporation hate bubble, but they won't be making a profit for years


Sorry to burst your bubble, but it did not cost more than $5 billion to develop the product, which is the low estimate for how much they will make this year off the product.
 
2014-04-02 04:12:36 PM  
None of these drugs ever cost that much. Most of the business expenses of pharmaceutical companies are marketing NOT R&D.

So all that money went to 15 levels of useless managers and several thousand sales reps that are paid big money to show their tits to doctors.

Capitalism doesn't belong in medicine.
 
2014-04-02 04:20:39 PM  

Banned on the Run: Sorry to burst your corporation hate bubble, but they won't be making a profit for years


The question is:  should they try to recoup their money in 5 years or 20?  I'm sure they'll end up making a profit, but to do so in the short term by bankrupting people facing a liver transplant (and a lifetime of anti-rejection drugs) or death is simply immoral.  Take the long view and more people will win.

Frankly, I'm surprised insurance companies haven't stepped up to demand lower drug costs, or at least footing much of the bill.  After all, they stand to lose big on the transplant/drug regimen as well.
 
2014-04-02 04:21:15 PM  
Drug cartels are jealous.  Careful they don't decide to come take your recipe from you.
 
2014-04-02 04:23:04 PM  

Magorn: And go where? India and Africa basically do this already, and Europe has a very low tolerance for profiteering Shenanigans and in China or Russia the government's response to creating a drug like this would be *yoink*


Well that's my point.  Many of these drug giants stay here because our protections are far sweeter than the deals they can get abroad.  If the US catches up to the moral rules of the rest of the world, why would they stay?
 
2014-04-02 04:27:38 PM  

indy_kid: Banned on the Run: Sorry to burst your corporation hate bubble, but they won't be making a profit for years

The question is:  should they try to recoup their money in 5 years or 20?  I'm sure they'll end up making a profit, but to do so in the short term by bankrupting people facing a liver transplant (and a lifetime of anti-rejection drugs) or death is simply immoral.  Take the long view and more people will win.

Frankly, I'm surprised insurance companies haven't stepped up to demand lower drug costs, or at least footing much of the bill.  After all, they stand to lose big on the transplant/drug regimen as well.


Who said 5. If the cost to buy the patent was 11b, and cost of production is $1, and they are planning to make 5b a year, or atleast at the start this year, they will have it paid back in slightly over 2 years.
 
2014-04-02 04:31:23 PM  
I have little problems with this and if our patent system worked properly, this company would be able to reap fantastic profits for 7 years for putting out the research and risk of developing and an entirely new and incredibly effective drug to treat a life threatening disease for less cost than surgery.  Furthermore, if our patent system worked right, 7 years from now, others could make it and future generations could have this drug be a fraction of the cost (like any other normal product where the price is competitively priced based on costs and demand).

My problem is 7 years from now, this company will add a new molecule to the drug that has no benefit whatsoever in an attempt to extend the patent.  That is wrong and should be stopped.
 
2014-04-02 04:33:10 PM  
It doesn't cost $1,000 per day. It's priced at $1,000 per day.
 
2014-04-02 04:37:05 PM  

Acravius: papafree

The first AIDS/HIV cocktails were 20K per monthly treatment dose, that's what the movie Dallas Buyer's Club was all about, and at the time they could be gotten more cheaply in Mexico. Now the improved cocktail is being sold to developing nations at $0.40/day to keep people "below detectable levels"

I don't have a problem with a corporation making profit, but the cost of producing the entire 85 day treatment regimin is only $3.60 in material costs. They are charging $85,000 per treatment cycle.
They only need ~135,000 people treated to recoup their investment and there are 65 Million potential patients.
Even if they charged $1,000 per 85 day treatment cycle they would still have an approximate ~6 times ROI of their $11 Billion distribution right package cost.

That is what is so disgraceful about this story.


The problem with Dallas Buyer's Club is that Ron Woodruff got really, really lucky. What if the the drug he brought into the US caused brain damage or liver failure and 3/4 of the people he distributed it to died? He could have turned out to be a pariah, a disgrace in the eyes of the law for selling a drug that killed a bunch of people because he was ignorant to its side effects.
 
2014-04-02 04:41:27 PM  

Teiritzamna: Magorn: And go where? India and Africa basically do this already, and Europe has a very low tolerance for profiteering Shenanigans and in China or Russia the government's response to creating a drug like this would be *yoink*

Well that's my point.  Many of these drug giants stay here because our protections are far sweeter than the deals they can get abroad.  If the US catches up to the moral rules of the rest of the world, why would they stay?


Actually you have no point (assuming you aren't a paid shill for Bayer)

6 of the Top 10 companies are European: Bayer AG, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi, Hoffmann-La Roche & AstraZeneca

All you would do is turn the US into some shiathole like India, put millions of people out of work, kill millions more and line the pockets of European companies since Pfizer & Johnson would no longer have any patent protection

 
2014-04-02 04:42:24 PM  
How much did it cost to develop and get the drug approved?
 
2014-04-02 04:50:49 PM  
How about a twist on the concept of eminent domain. Government forces the developer to accept "fair market value" for the patent. Lets say, triple the cost of R&D (much of which may have been subsidized by the govenrment anyway). Then licences the patent to generic manufacturers in the name of public safety.

Every Hep-C positive person who gets no treatment poses some risk to the health of the population in general, so it's a no-brainer. I would suggest this approach only for contagious diseases, not for everything.
 
2014-04-02 04:56:22 PM  
The Smut Peddlers song immediately comes to mind- Rebatron Party-great band/song
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WA3i9VAly-U
 
2014-04-02 05:01:46 PM  
Development costs matter, but what should also matter is how much of that was paid for by the US taxpayer and for a lot of these drugs there is a significant contribution from the government and so we should all reap the rewards of either lower cost drugs or a fraction of the profits.
 
2014-04-02 05:03:51 PM  

papafree: The problem with Dallas Buyer's Club is that Ron Woodruff got really, really lucky. What if the the drug he brought into the US caused brain damage or liver failure and 3/4 of the people he distributed it to died? He could have turned out to be a pariah, a disgrace in the eyes of the law for selling a drug that killed a bunch of people because he was ignorant to its side effects


And the probability of that happening is?  Just because a pharmacy is in another country doesn't mean that it can't be trusted.  If they're selling bad medicine, their local customers are going to figure it out pretty quick.

Anyway, I've got no problem with a company selling their new drug for $1000/day.  It's something that didn't exist yesterday, so either you keep doing what you did yesterday, or you pay the price.  And if no one buys it?  They'll drop the price.  And in 18 years (which admittedly sounds like a long time if you've got Hep C today) it'll be public domain.  Unlike copyrights, patents expire in a reasonable time frame.  I fully expect the price of this to come down in a couple of years after they milk everyone who is especially desperate for it, or as soon as something better comes along.

Now, if Sovaldi was getting any government subsidies for developing this, I might change my stance a bit, but I'm totally ok with this as I understand the facts.
 
2014-04-02 05:13:53 PM  

thaylin: indy_kid: Banned on the Run: Sorry to burst your corporation hate bubble, but they won't be making a profit for years

The question is:  should they try to recoup their money in 5 years or 20?  I'm sure they'll end up making a profit, but to do so in the short term by bankrupting people facing a liver transplant (and a lifetime of anti-rejection drugs) or death is simply immoral.  Take the long view and more people will win.

Frankly, I'm surprised insurance companies haven't stepped up to demand lower drug costs, or at least footing much of the bill.  After all, they stand to lose big on the transplant/drug regimen as well.

Who said 5. If the cost to buy the patent was 11b, and cost of production is $1, and they are planning to make 5b a year, or atleast at the start this year, they will have it paid back in slightly over 2 years.


The usual argument is that for every successful drug that goes to market there are many, many failed drugs and countless amounts of dead-end research to fund. Personally I kind of buy it but I have good insurance.

/I'm on Budesonide which IIRC retails for $16/pill
 
2014-04-02 05:14:28 PM  

Cold_Sassy: Well, thank God for Obamacare.


image.legios.org
 
2014-04-02 05:24:18 PM  

Jument: thaylin: indy_kid: Banned on the Run: Sorry to burst your corporation hate bubble, but they won't be making a profit for years

The question is:  should they try to recoup their money in 5 years or 20?  I'm sure they'll end up making a profit, but to do so in the short term by bankrupting people facing a liver transplant (and a lifetime of anti-rejection drugs) or death is simply immoral.  Take the long view and more people will win.

Frankly, I'm surprised insurance companies haven't stepped up to demand lower drug costs, or at least footing much of the bill.  After all, they stand to lose big on the transplant/drug regimen as well.

Who said 5. If the cost to buy the patent was 11b, and cost of production is $1, and they are planning to make 5b a year, or atleast at the start this year, they will have it paid back in slightly over 2 years.

The usual argument is that for every successful drug that goes to market there are many, many failed drugs and countless amounts of dead-end research to fund. Personally I kind of buy it but I have good insurance.

/I'm on Budesonide which IIRC retails for $16/pill


Except they bought the patent of an already researched drug, they did not take that risk here.
 
2014-04-02 05:25:33 PM  
Does the treatment involve blending up the 1,000$ a day and injecting straight into your veins?

surprised nobodies said that yet.

for real though, as appalling as this blatant money grab is, it's not entirely their fault. The whole medical system in the states is corrupt and benefits no-one except the suits lining their pockets. They are pricing it so high because they know the end cost is going to be negotiated down by upwards of 70% by the insurance companies. If they were to price it at 300$, the patent would expire before they turned a profit.

Sh*t, look at anti-venoms. In the stars it's 10's of thousands of dollars per vial. By the time it's actually paid, it's down to a couple thousand at most. If you walk across the border into Mexico, the same anti-venom, made in the same lab is a couple hundred. It's the disgusting nature of the beast here in the US. It's not going to change unless the culture changes. Doctors and pharmacists used to work together for the greater good, then they started needing funding, so they found investors, those investors couldn't care less about the human cost.
 
2014-04-02 05:26:39 PM  
It doesn't cost $1000 per day, that's just what they're charging for it. If I were a hep C case, I'd be genuinely inclined to rob a hospital/pharmacy, and the pharmaceutical company would be responsible.
 
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