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(Telegram)   Drug to cure Hepatitis C is so expensive, even seasoned medical business professionals flinch at the cost   (telegram.com) divider line 51
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2907 clicks; posted to Business » on 15 Jun 2014 at 2:37 PM (9 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-06-15 09:56:20 AM
It's cheaper than using the other drugs and then still having to do a liver transplant.

VERY expensive, but highly effective.
 
2014-06-15 09:58:06 AM
But there's profit to be had! What are you, some kind of commie socialist, subby?
 
2014-06-15 10:15:57 AM
Let's see... a brand new medication that could cure a previously incurable disease? Yeah that cost a shiat ton to develop and they need to earn it back
 
2014-06-15 10:59:28 AM
Pharma finally found a cure for something? Damn, that should be free.
 
2014-06-15 11:00:11 AM
Liver transplants and maintenance are more expensive.
 
2014-06-15 11:01:12 AM

NewportBarGuy: It's cheaper than using the other drugs and then still having to do a liver transplant.

VERY expensive, but highly effective.


And liver transplantation doesn't even cure viral Hepatitis C (the most common indication for liver transplantation).  It buys time, just like a TIPS, except more costly.
 
2014-06-15 11:06:23 AM

ArkAngel: Let's see... a brand new medication that could cure a previously incurable disease? Yeah that cost a shiat ton to develop and they need to earn it back


Plus, I'm doubting it's a major factor in pricing, but it was probably more profitable for pharma for patients to stay ill until they croaked. That's often the rationale conspiracy ppl give for why companies dont develop and market too many cures. I cant imagine the costs associated with liver failure, liver transplant or liver cancer.
 
2014-06-15 01:01:43 PM

ArkAngel: Let's see... a brand new medication that could cure a previously incurable disease? Yeah that cost a shiat ton to develop and they need to earn it back


That's actually a good argument for nationalizing all pharmaceutical research and development.  Health Care should not be a for-profit endeavor, and that includes drug development.  Have the government fund pharmaceutical research at universities and government run labs, eat the costs associated with development out of tax revenue, and make the drugs available for a nominal sum to anyone who needs them.

That would obviously work best with a true universal single payer health system - any costs the government takes on in developing the drugs would be more than offset by lower costs in actually treating people.
 
2014-06-15 01:35:55 PM

TuteTibiImperes: ArkAngel: Let's see... a brand new medication that could cure a previously incurable disease? Yeah that cost a shiat ton to develop and they need to earn it back

That's actually a good argument for nationalizing all pharmaceutical research and development.  Health Care should not be a for-profit endeavor, and that includes drug development.  Have the government fund pharmaceutical research at universities and government run labs, eat the costs associated with development out of tax revenue, and make the drugs available for a nominal sum to anyone who needs them.

That would obviously work best with a true universal single payer health system - any costs the government takes on in developing the drugs would be more than offset by lower costs in actually treating people.


Except government moves far too slowly for things like that to work with research. Look at specific taxes and subsidies - they never go away (mohair for WWI uniforms is still subsidized). Pet projects are also the issue. Will government stop research so long as it provides jobs in a Reps district? Ask the army about all those tanks they don't need
 
2014-06-15 01:44:20 PM

ArkAngel: TuteTibiImperes: ArkAngel: Let's see... a brand new medication that could cure a previously incurable disease? Yeah that cost a shiat ton to develop and they need to earn it back

That's actually a good argument for nationalizing all pharmaceutical research and development.  Health Care should not be a for-profit endeavor, and that includes drug development.  Have the government fund pharmaceutical research at universities and government run labs, eat the costs associated with development out of tax revenue, and make the drugs available for a nominal sum to anyone who needs them.

That would obviously work best with a true universal single payer health system - any costs the government takes on in developing the drugs would be more than offset by lower costs in actually treating people.

Except government moves far too slowly for things like that to work with research. Look at specific taxes and subsidies - they never go away (mohair for WWI uniforms is still subsidized). Pet projects are also the issue. Will government stop research so long as it provides jobs in a Reps district? Ask the army about all those tanks they don't need


There are government programs that are run efficiently, others not so much.  The big pharma companies have too much sway in in Congress for it to ever happen, but it would be beneficial if it did.  It would just have to be organized such that the government would devote a set amount per year in research funding and be forced to stay hands off in directing the actual specifics of that research.  Appoint a board of experts in the field to direct things and keep the politics out of it.
 
2014-06-15 02:46:53 PM
How much of the research was paid for with government grants?
 
2014-06-15 02:48:46 PM
Federal funding of the research has been shrinking and big pharma has been carrying more. I suppose now they can better justify the prices.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/science/2014/03/09/cancer-centers-rel y -more-heavily-pharmaceutical-money-for-research-raising-concerns/vtft7 nZ8Q4rdWzyJLqH74K/story.html

/and profit doesn't fund research, profit is what's left over after you fund research. That's how profit works.
 
2014-06-15 03:00:02 PM

ArkAngel: Let's see... a brand new medication that could cure a previously incurable disease? Yeah that cost a shiat ton to develop and they need to earn it back


Yes, that's what they're doing.

Go hump Fox news.
 
2014-06-15 03:02:43 PM

whither_apophis: Federal funding of the research has been shrinking and big pharma has been carrying more. I suppose now they can better justify the prices.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/science/2014/03/09/cancer-centers-rel y -more-heavily-pharmaceutical-money-for-research-raising-concerns/vtft7 nZ8Q4rdWzyJLqH74K/story.html

/and profit doesn't fund research, profit is what's left over after you fund research. That's how profit works.


Profit on one drug funds research on others
 
GBB [TotalFark]
2014-06-15 03:15:39 PM
On-going treatments are cheap per dose; cures are expensive.
 
2014-06-15 03:21:11 PM

spawn73: ArkAngel: Let's see... a brand new medication that could cure a previously incurable disease? Yeah that cost a shiat ton to develop and they need to earn it back

Yes, that's what they're doing.

Go hump Fox news.


A wild ignoramus appears
 
2014-06-15 03:37:45 PM

TuteTibiImperes: ArkAngel: Let's see... a brand new medication that could cure a previously incurable disease? Yeah that cost a shiat ton to develop and they need to earn it back

That's actually a good argument for nationalizing all pharmaceutical research and development.  Health Care should not be a for-profit endeavor, and that includes drug development.  Have the government fund pharmaceutical research at universities and government run labs, eat the costs associated with development out of tax revenue, and make the drugs available for a nominal sum to anyone who needs them.

That would obviously work best with a true universal single payer health system - any costs the government takes on in developing the drugs would be more than offset by lower costs in actually treating people.


I don't disagree with you, but in a way it already is how this works.  Labs in universities get funding from NIH and NSF.  Basic science includes behaviors of small molecules, etc.  Breakthroughs here lead to drug development.  If a professor's lab has a successful technological or discovery breakthrough, she works through the university to patent it and perhaps develop a spinoff business.  The patent or the business is purchased by a biotech or pharma company, the professor retires, and the drug goes through clinical trials.

I don't think that the government should be in drug development, in that I don't think that NIH itself should be doing drug discovery.  But it would be nice to have more grants, and to pay PhDs more money to do the research.  Right now it's Pharma feeding off of academic wage slaves instead of doing their own R&D, which is frustrating.
 
2014-06-15 03:40:38 PM

Smeggy Smurf: spawn73: ArkAngel: Let's see... a brand new medication that could cure a previously incurable disease? Yeah that cost a shiat ton to develop and they need to earn it back

Yes, that's what they're doing.

Go hump Fox news.

A wild ignoramus appears


Oh I'm sorry. Clearly they're not trying to make as much profit as possible from their patent.

Please tell me more lies, so I can sleep better tonight.
 
2014-06-15 03:51:25 PM

TuteTibiImperes: ArkAngel: Let's see... a brand new medication that could cure a previously incurable disease? Yeah that cost a shiat ton to develop and they need to earn it back

That's actually a good argument for nationalizing all pharmaceutical research and development.  Health Care should not be a for-profit endeavor, and that includes drug development.  Have the government fund pharmaceutical research at universities and government run labs, eat the costs associated with development out of tax revenue, and make the drugs available for a nominal sum to anyone who needs them.

That would obviously work best with a true universal single payer health system - any costs the government takes on in developing the drugs would be more than offset by lower costs in actually treating people.


Unicorns are as common as birds in your world. Profit is often the impetus to advancements.
 
2014-06-15 04:14:52 PM

GBB: On-going treatments are cheap per dose; cures are expensive.


Some doctors and researchers are very careful about when they use the word "cured" as opposed to the phrase "undetectable viral load" for a few different diseases.

/a lot of research in my city
//and honest docs/researchers
 
2014-06-15 04:17:01 PM

TuteTibiImperes: Health Care should not be a for-profit endeavor


From the standpoint of political philosophy, what is your justification for saying this?  Is it because Health Care is something human beings need to live?  If that's the case, then what in your philosophy would prevent "Health Care" in the above sentence being replaced with "Food," "Shelter," "Clothing" or any one of the other commodities in the lower levels of Maslow's hierarchy?
 
2014-06-15 04:21:47 PM
"Have to recoup development costs" yeah, right.

Their patients are desperate people who could die unless they get it, and/or are insured. The insurance companies basically have infinitely deep pockets.

Formula: What is the maximum we can charge without insurance companies revolting? and how much is a person's life worth to him? add together, divide by 2, multiply by this year's Xmas bonus factor.
 
2014-06-15 04:27:03 PM
images.dailytech.com


We found a cure for AIDS!!  It's money!
 
2014-06-15 04:51:10 PM
FTA Three have since dropped the treatment

I see we've already stated creating a hep c viral load immune to the new drug.
 
2014-06-15 05:13:22 PM
Yea subby those professionals are on the payroll for big pharma.
 
2014-06-15 05:19:14 PM

ArkAngel: Let's see... a brand new medication that could cure a previously incurable disease? Yeah that cost a shiat ton to develop and they need to earn it back


I take a medication for MS called Copaxone that costs about $4,250 a month (retail; my insurance covers it but with a much higher copay). And it's not a cure; it's like insulin or blood pressure meds.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-06-15 05:38:21 PM
about $4,250 a month

Now that is some good pricing, right at the limit the market will bear. At over $50,000 per year long term treatment starts to be considered not cost effective and not covered. I don't know if the limit is uniform for all agencies and insurers. I have heard $50,000 per year as one value used. It's related to per capita GDP, but not necessarily exactly equal.

The $100,000+ figure in the article is short term, not long term, and the calculation is different.
 
2014-06-15 05:44:11 PM
It's expensive - here. In the United States, a 12-week supply costs $84,000.

It's $900 for a 12-week supply in Egypt.
It's $57,000 for a 12-week supply in the U.K.
It's $66,000 for a 12-week supply in Germany.

Privatized medicine, served up in a wealthy industrialized nation without price controls. That's why it's more expensive here than anywhere else on the planet.
 
2014-06-15 06:36:31 PM
$1000 per pill, you wanna know why???

BECAUSE FARK YOU, THAT'S WHY.
 
2014-06-15 06:47:50 PM
"We not only have an expensive treatment, we also have a reservoir of patients who are awaiting treatment," Dr. Munk said.
2.bp.blogspot.com

(Hell of a statement to put into an article, no?)
 
2014-06-15 06:51:56 PM
Everyone who is terminally ill and still mobile should seriously consider just robbing pharmacies for the drugs they need. And pharmacists should let them.

If you can get a few dozen cases of people walking in and "stealing" this drug for their own personal use and the pharmacy standing by and merely filing an insurance claim for the stolen goods would be a good message.
 
2014-06-15 06:56:45 PM

blockhouse: TuteTibiImperes: Health Care should not be a for-profit endeavor

From the standpoint of political philosophy, what is your justification for saying this?  Is it because Health Care is something human beings need to live?  If that's the case, then what in your philosophy would prevent "Health Care" in the above sentence being replaced with "Food," "Shelter," "Clothing" or any one of the other commodities in the lower levels of Maslow's hierarchy?


That's a good question.  The comparison between the three is difficult.  I'd say that no one should go without food or clothing either.  Clothing is relatively cheap, and we do have government programs in place to provide food for those who can't afford it.

Health Care, on the other hand, can be obscenely expensive.  You can go to Goodwill with $10 and walk out with a full outfit.  You can't even see a doctor for less than $150 without insurance (outside of a discouragingly small number of free clinics) and any tests, labs, and medicines prescribed will cost more on top of that.

No one needs a $1,000 Armani suit, or a $500 meal at Per Se, but the cost of necessary medical treatments can easily reach high five or six figure sums.

Basically our current safety net and charity network provide workable, if not ideal, solutions for those who can't afford food or clothing, but there's no solution for those who can't afford insurance and/or medical care.
 
2014-06-15 07:52:34 PM

TuteTibiImperes: That's actually a good argument for nationalizing all pharmaceutical research and development.


What percentage of new drugs (or medical devices or equipment, for that matter) are invented in countries with socialized medicine? And who would you blame when the number of new drugs plummeted?
 
2014-06-15 07:58:21 PM

DrPainMD: TuteTibiImperes: That's actually a good argument for nationalizing all pharmaceutical research and development.

What percentage of new drugs (or medical devices or equipment, for that matter) are invented in countries with socialized medicine? And who would you blame when the number of new drugs plummeted?


How many countries have tried investing the amount into drug R&D that the pharmaceutical companies currently do?

I'm not advocating cutting research spending, just having it paid for by the government with the results being made available without patents.

The quality of work produced by a scientist working on the next drug won't lessen any if his checks are signed by Uncle Sam rather than Pfizer.
 
2014-06-15 08:26:58 PM
Not to worry. By November, you'll be able to get it for $2.73 a pill from India; plus 30% extra or a discount of 10%.
 
2014-06-15 09:03:06 PM

TuteTibiImperes: DrPainMD: TuteTibiImperes: That's actually a good argument for nationalizing all pharmaceutical research and development.

What percentage of new drugs (or medical devices or equipment, for that matter) are invented in countries with socialized medicine? And who would you blame when the number of new drugs plummeted?

How many countries have tried investing the amount into drug R&D that the pharmaceutical companies currently do?

I'm not advocating cutting research spending, just having it paid for by the government with the results being made available without patents.

The quality of work produced by a scientist working on the next drug won't lessen any if his checks are signed by Uncle Sam rather than Pfizer.


The problem with this is...Uncle Sam will never, ever pay as well GlaxoSmithBeechumPfizer. Nor have the paymasters at Uncle Sams' Board have a nodding arrangement with your Board to sit on each others' Boards for a job and always vote for constant pay increases for Board members.
 
2014-06-15 09:51:45 PM
Lets have a minor comparison here: I have a chronic illness (chrohns) that costs $10,000 every eight weeks (If I was paying it, the hospitals and insurance companies negotiate their own rates). I expect to have some form of drug treatment for the rest of my life. Right now that would cost at least $60,000 per year. So in two years my costs would easily exceed $100,000 (I am assuming no hospitalizations or complications).

If a treatment was developed that cured chrohns, but cost $100,000 you can be sure insurance companies would be getting on top of that and having it handed out like candy. A one shot of $100,000 vs (at least) $60,000/year for life? Pay the $100,000, be done with it and turn the patient into a profit center instead of a cost center.
 
2014-06-15 10:09:31 PM

xaks: TuteTibiImperes: DrPainMD: TuteTibiImperes: That's actually a good argument for nationalizing all pharmaceutical research and development.

What percentage of new drugs (or medical devices or equipment, for that matter) are invented in countries with socialized medicine? And who would you blame when the number of new drugs plummeted?

How many countries have tried investing the amount into drug R&D that the pharmaceutical companies currently do?

I'm not advocating cutting research spending, just having it paid for by the government with the results being made available without patents.

The quality of work produced by a scientist working on the next drug won't lessen any if his checks are signed by Uncle Sam rather than Pfizer.

The problem with this is...Uncle Sam will never, ever pay as well GlaxoSmithBeechumPfizer. Nor have the paymasters at Uncle Sams' Board have a nodding arrangement with your Board to sit on each others' Boards for a job and always vote for constant pay increases for Board members.


Theres no reason that the government couldn't provide the same, or even more, funding.  Doing away with board members and CEOs that soak up money but don't actually contribute anything to the product would be a good thing.

Given the government's pitiful record with NASA though, it would require a strong public outcry to force them to devote the funds required.
 
2014-06-15 10:50:36 PM
So, the argument is that since this turns a chronic disease into an acute disease, the complete cost needs to be recouped in one treatment.

Two things. What about recreational drugs? Like Viagra and Cialis, they won't get life long daily users. Do those pills have to be priced like a one shot?

There could be a WHO campaign to wipe out Hep-C, but they can't get polio stomped out.
 
2014-06-15 11:17:31 PM

xaks: TuteTibiImperes: DrPainMD: TuteTibiImperes: That's actually a good argument for nationalizing all pharmaceutical research and development.

What percentage of new drugs (or medical devices or equipment, for that matter) are invented in countries with socialized medicine? And who would you blame when the number of new drugs plummeted?

How many countries have tried investing the amount into drug R&D that the pharmaceutical companies currently do?

I'm not advocating cutting research spending, just having it paid for by the government with the results being made available without patents.

The quality of work produced by a scientist working on the next drug won't lessen any if his checks are signed by Uncle Sam rather than Pfizer.

The problem with this is...Uncle Sam will never, ever pay as well GlaxoSmithBeechumPfizer. Nor have the paymasters at Uncle Sams' Board have a nodding arrangement with your Board to sit on each others' Boards for a job and always vote for constant pay increases for Board members.


It has nothing to do with pay. Uncle Sam will never spend the money where it will do the most good; the money will only go to researching medical problems that are affecting those on the appropriations committee or their family members.
 
2014-06-15 11:51:10 PM

DrPainMD: xaks: TuteTibiImperes: DrPainMD: TuteTibiImperes: That's actually a good argument for nationalizing all pharmaceutical research and development.

What percentage of new drugs (or medical devices or equipment, for that matter) are invented in countries with socialized medicine? And who would you blame when the number of new drugs plummeted?

How many countries have tried investing the amount into drug R&D that the pharmaceutical companies currently do?

I'm not advocating cutting research spending, just having it paid for by the government with the results being made available without patents.

The quality of work produced by a scientist working on the next drug won't lessen any if his checks are signed by Uncle Sam rather than Pfizer.

The problem with this is...Uncle Sam will never, ever pay as well GlaxoSmithBeechumPfizer. Nor have the paymasters at Uncle Sams' Board have a nodding arrangement with your Board to sit on each others' Boards for a job and always vote for constant pay increases for Board members.

It has nothing to do with pay. Uncle Sam will never spend the money where it will do the most good; the money will only go to researching medical problems that are affecting those on the appropriations committee or their family members.


Ummm....

...

Pardon me, but.. isn't that pretty much exactly what I farking said?

Its the pay. In one form or another.
 
2014-06-16 12:11:51 AM

DrPainMD: TuteTibiImperes: That's actually a good argument for nationalizing all pharmaceutical research and development.

What percentage of new drugs (or medical devices or equipment, for that matter) are invented in countries with socialized medicine? And who would you blame when the number of new drugs plummeted?


Most of them, if you'd bother to look.

Countries with "socialized" medicine have bargaining clout. Canada for example, negotiates drug pricing. And requires by law that 20% of that price (or 20% of profits, go look it up yourself) be spent on drug research in Canada. Do you think those drug companies are going to piss away that money or actually use it to research drugs they could sell worldwide?

And IIRC the f*cking CPAP machine was invented in Australia. The only effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea before that was a traecheotomy.
 
2014-06-16 03:03:47 AM
Bad behavior=expensive. Boo farking hoo.
 
2014-06-16 03:04:17 AM
Cheap compared to the cost per year of life saved of the TSA.
 
2014-06-16 05:54:08 AM

lindalouwho: Liver transplants and maintenance are more expensive.


But not everyone gets a liver transplant so the actual effective cost of treating everyone via pharmaceuticals is less than the cost of treating everyone with a liver transplant.
 
2014-06-16 05:55:21 AM
God damn, I got that backwards. ...via pharmaceuticals is more than the cost of treating some people with a liver transplant.
 
2014-06-16 07:11:01 AM

Niveras: God damn, I got that backwards. ...via pharmaceuticals is more than the cost of treating some people with a liver transplant.


But the only people who the insurance companies will approve/allow to get the drug(s) are those already on the transplant list. At least right now - and that's if they're lucky.
 
2014-06-16 07:24:10 AM

doofusgumby: DrPainMD: TuteTibiImperes: That's actually a good argument for nationalizing all pharmaceutical research and development.

What percentage of new drugs (or medical devices or equipment, for that matter) are invented in countries with socialized medicine? And who would you blame when the number of new drugs plummeted?

Most of them, if you'd bother to look.

Countries with "socialized" medicine have bargaining clout. Canada for example, negotiates drug pricing. And requires by law that 20% of that price (or 20% of profits, go look it up yourself) be spent on drug research in Canada. Do you think those drug companies are going to piss away that money or actually use it to research drugs they could sell worldwide?

And IIRC the f*cking CPAP machine was invented in Australia. The only effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea before that was a traecheotomy.


A) I have bothered to look:
www.nature.com
The origins of cardiovascular medical device patents registered with the Indian patent office (all I could find in a 30-second GIS, but you get the point):
1.bp.blogspot.com

B) According to the chart at the top, they seem to be pissing it away. I guess your definition of "bother to look" is "make up something that supports the BS I make up."

C) Australia invented a machine? Wow... I'm impressed.
 
2014-06-16 01:09:02 PM

ZAZ: about $4,250 a month

Now that is some good pricing, right at the limit the market will bear. At over $50,000 per year long term treatment starts to be considered not cost effective and not covered. I don't know if the limit is uniform for all agencies and insurers. I have heard $50,000 per year as one value used. It's related to per capita GDP, but not necessarily exactly equal.

The $100,000+ figure in the article is short term, not long term, and the calculation is different.


the 50k per year comes from congressional debates in the 80s about whether to fund dialysis under medicare. It cost about that much back then, and they decided to fund it. From then on, it's been assumed in the literature on medical cost effectiveness that while we don't know society's true upper limit on the value of a year of life, we know it's somewhere above 50k, so we can use that as a threshold. It's a stupid, unscientific way of looking at it, but because no explicit standard has ever been set it keeps being used.
 
2014-06-16 03:01:59 PM

FormlessOne: It's expensive - here. In the United States, a 12-week supply costs $84,000.

It's $900 for a 12-week supply in Egypt.
It's $57,000 for a 12-week supply in the U.K.
It's $66,000 for a 12-week supply in Germany.

Privatized medicine, served up in a wealthy industrialized nation without price controls. That's why it's more expensive here than anywhere else on the planet.


They are just doing a little private-sector Marxism.  You charge according to what you think people can pay.  The huge development cost needs to be paid down by somebody and it isn't going to come from the third world or even the first world in areas where the people are health care cheapskates.  Under s system of price controls they might not have developed the drug at all.  It might have gotten to a certain stage of development where the suits just said "pass".  Besides, this doesn't hurt you or me one bit.  We are no worse off than without the drug and we free to go develop our own drugs if we think it is so god damn easy.  In fact, the success of this company and their profitability, if any, might encourage others to do just that.
 
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