Obama cut deals with drug companies to win support for Obamacare, threatening them with steeper taxes if they resisted
Obama’s deal was to let drug companies continue to set their own drug prices.
This must not endure.
By Leah Culler, MSN Money:
10 drugs that cost more than a car.
Pharmaceuticals that cost well north of $100,000 for a course of treatment are far from rare these days.
The Affordable Care Act, mean’s that patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions will pay more toward the cost of their expensive medications. In California, for instance, patients could end up paying as much as 30% of the cost for some pricey drugs, according to The Associated Press. Other states have said they will set flat co-pays, even for high-priced “specialty drugs.”
In case you have been lucky enough not to encounter these drugs, we’re not talking about a $3 bottles of aspirin. Many of these designer drugs can hit six figures for a single course of treatment.
Here are 10 of the priciest drugs currently on the market:
This drug, once available for $50 a dose, now costs $28,000 for a 5-milliliter vial, according to an article last year in The New York Times. The drug, once used primarily to treat spasms in infants, is now marketed by Questcor as a treatment for multiple sclerosis, nephrotic syndrome and rheumatologic conditions.
Avastin, from Genentech, slows the growth of new blood vessels and is prescribed to treat a number of cancers. It has been shown to prolong the lives of some cancer patients by several months, but the medication can cost as much as $100,000 a year.
This drug is used to treat a condition called Gaucher disease, which causes lumps of fat to build up in the heart, brain and spleen. The condition results from a missing enzyme, which used to be replaced using a drug made from human placentas. Cerezyme, a newer version of the drug, is made by Genzyme with genetically engineered hamster cells. The treatment can cost $200,000 per year, and it must be continued for the life of the patient.
This drug, from Shire Human Genetic Therapies, is prescribed to treat Hunter syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects males almost exclusively and causes a variety of symptoms, including mental impairment and problems with mobility. Hunter syndrome patients have severely shortened life expectancy. Elaprase, an enzyme replacement therapy, has been found to decrease the symptoms of Hunter syndrome and improve the ability of patients to walk. It costs about $375,000 per year, according to Forbes.
This drug is used to treat patients with T-cell lymphoma who don’t respond to treatment or whose cancer recurs. The drug, made by Allos Therapeutics, works by killing cancer cells, thus shrinking tumors; it costs about $30,000 a month.
This is the newest — and most expensive, at $115,000 a year — of a number of drugs used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia. Ariad, the company behind Iclusig, has said its drug has proved to be effective for patients who aren’t helped by other treatments.
This drug, made by Alexion Pharmaceuticals, is used to treat the rare blood disease paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, as well as the kidney disorder atypical hemolytic-uremic syndrome. It has been described as the most expensive drug in the world, at an annual cost of $409,500, according to Forbes.
This just-approved treatment for multiple sclerosis from Biogen Idec costs about $55,000 per patient per year. Two earlier oral drugs for MS, Gilenya and Aubagio, cost $60,000 and $45,000, respectively. All three are prescribed to treat flare-ups of symptoms in the relapsing form of MS.
Pfizer last year got Food and Drug Administration approval for this new, more affordable treatment option for rheumatoid arthritis, which is expected to cost $25,000 a year. (It’s about 7% cheaper than other existing options, according to Forbes.com.) European authorities recently recommended against allowing the treatment there, citing concerns about its safety and efficacy.
When this drug came on the market as a treatment for colorectal cancer, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center refused to use it because of its $11,000-a-month price tag. Three doctors from the hospital penned a New York Times opinion piece lashing out at what they called a health care system that often fails to take costs into account. The doctors pointed out that the newly approved drug was no better than existing — and cheaper — medications. After the column ran, Sanofi, the company that markets the drug, announced it would cut the price of Zaltrap in half, according to The Times.
Manufactured by Foster City, Calif.-based Gilead Sciences Inc., costs about $84,000 (a minimum wholesale acquisition cost) over the course of treatment, or about $1,000 per pill. Another hepatitis C combination therapy targeted toward the most common types of hepatitis C infections, Harvoni (also from Gilead), was released in mid-October with an even higher price point of $94,500 per 12-week course of treatment, Sovaldi and other new hepatitis C medications pose challenges due to their expense and the large population that’s eligible for treatment.
Represents a significant advance in the treatment of the disease because it delivers cure rates of 94 percent to 99 percent
**A May 1, 2014 article on Medsacpe reported that the Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDAC) panel decision rolled out in April of 2104 states that high risk Medicare patients will not be eligible for payment of more effective, safer low emission CT screening for lung cancer.
2345 April Faure -This just makes me sick. luckily not one that requires one of these drugs. I know research is expensive, but this is just evil greed. This is one of the reasons we have such a healthcare nightmare in this country. I think that patent length needs to be shortened. There are meds that I need that I can’t afford because of no generic. Raising the price of an existing drug because it is found to cure something else like the one mentioned in this article is the same as price gouging during a disaster, and should be just as illegal. And it probably doesn’t cost any more to produce these 10 drugs than it does that $3 bottle of asprin. NOTE TO Politicians- You are the sorriest bunch of people I have ever known of! NOT A ONE OF YOU deserve more tnan MINIMUM WAGES!!! IF ANY ONE OF YOU can think of a reason you deserve full time pay for a part time job done so poorly, REPLY ON THIS FORUM for all to see! YOU ARE ALL SCUM in my opinion!!! I KNOW AT LEAST ONE OF YOU WILL SEE IT>>>TELL THE OTHER SCUM!!!! NONE OF YOU DESERVE YOUR PAY!!! BeaClone “The Affordable Care Act… could mean that patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions will pay more toward the cost of their expensive medications.”
JJ- No they will be rationed or denied and over age 75 denied!!! (Obama Care) Also we have Obamas illegals to pay for now. Law demands us regardless of what we are to
Sooooo…. where does the “affordable” come in to play?????????? I see nothing affordable about it.
letsgo21 drugs that used to be cheap and now cost more… greed is what it is and the federal govt lets the crooks get away with it !!!! its a multi billion/trillion dollar business and running amok !!! no end in sight they want to keep people on druge for a cure would put the greedy pill pushers out of business …the difference between a drug dealer and the drug companies is the drug companies got a license to sell
BeingHonest080312 This article simply means those hurting will have to continue to hurt until they die. And, those needing meds for serious illnesses will have to die. Why do more than 300 million Americans not turn out in the streets over this???
Many democrats have no idea their party has been taken over by a bunch of radicals. With no concern for human life any longer.
This will hit all of us at one time or another This is the time for an all out rebellion in this country!! How could saltrap be cut in half after exposure if it cost nearly that much to produce? I don’t think any pill can cost more than a few dollars to make. We have no leadership in this country. I have family members who may need some of these meds and they cannot afford. But,A Politician gets the best care and I’m sure we pay for it. That is a shame!
They are no better than we are who pay for their elitist life style. It is time we all get in the streets!!! .
They must be laughing at us not with us.
good bargains –It’s interesting to note that in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s many treatments were discovered that cured things like measles, smallpox etc. but since the miracle of big Pharma all they find are expensive, “treatments” that you have to take for the rest of your life. Will they ever again find a cure or inoculation where one dose is all you need or will they always just find ways to treat at $20,000 a year?
This article points out what I’ve been thinking for a long time. The FDA Future Destruction of America, here today along with the legal drug lords are here for one thing: To take every penny one has or can beg, borrow or steal. And, we have a Congress that is allowing it. I hope this article stirs the American people . All are elderly, or have elderly family members. All have some sort of illness if they have ever gone to a doctor. Psychiatrists invent new illenessed for children time after time…then a life of addiction! I see no hope for America. We need leadership and we don’t have it now. The health industry and government is the only thing growing.
Talking-Back-Any of You people think your pissed off now, wait until you read this. All of the hard working tax paying citizens of this country will be forced to pay for health insurance plus pay astronomical prices for medications while all the illegal immigrants will be handed these luxuries on a silver platter to go along with their FREE college tuition and driver’s license. WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE????????
Lets go21 With drugs that expensive even with insurance the poor cant afford it so now the insurance company making money off people but they still cant afford to see the doctor nor buy the perscriptions as they want the copay up front and the prescriptions payed before they hand them over …
faspony Why wait for all the affordable health care act to kick in today… I worked for 41 years of my life and now that I am disabled I am on medicare.. CVS pharmacy told me recently that my medicare was not going to pay for my medications anymore because I am in the donut hole they only pay up to 2200 dollars per year.. That means I have to pay for all my meds out of pocket, full price.. My insulin alone is 300 per month per insulin and I am on 2 different kinds. That is not counting the needles or blood sticks to check my sugar levels. Or the rest of my meds.. I only get 775 a month to live on and still have to pay for my medicare insurance of 29 dollars a month. So how to I pay for my food and the rest it takes one to live?? We lost our home when my husband and I were together because his portion for medical insurance through his job at the school dist in Ca. went up to 1180 dollars a month. That was our house payment.. His insurance is now 1480 per month that is why our boys and I are not on it. It is sad how the government allows them to charge sooo muchMore
PETER SCHARDT (peter rabbit 500) Why isn’t anything done? Because congress is bought off. Campaign contribution is a sweet way to say Bribery!!! Someone needs to step up to the plate and say enough is enough.
The FDA needs a total overhall as well with congress.
phrannie S, The government running health care…the whole scenario scares the crap out of me (course, I’m 62….and I’m sure the powers that be would much rather have me pushing up daisies, than collecting Social Security). When the true cost of universal health care becomes apparent, don’t think for a moment that the elderly aren’t going to be dropping faster than they are now.
AngieMarie How is it our depression generation of relatives lived long lives without being on all these meds that are currently being pushed on us by doctors? Hmmm? Grandmother lived to 89, Mom lived to 84, neither were on prescription anything. good bargaing The article acts like insurance simply pays for these expensive medicines today but won’t cover as much with ACA. That’s not true. Many insurance today won’t cover many of these at all or have lifetime caps for payment. All insurance companies have boards that determine if the age and health of a patient warrants expensive treatment. They won’t do a heart/lung transplant on a 70 year old and won’t pay for drugs costing 200K a year for someone near dead and they won’t with ACA.
Mystified NY This is a sore point me. Big pharma seem to be all about greed and not about curing illness. I believe that we will never find cures for diseases such as ms, cancer, etc. If they found a cure then what need would there be for $50000/mo treatments. When did it stop being about helping people and become all about $!!! It is really very sad.
HI POCKETS EVER WONDER WHERE THE MOBSTERS WENT WHEN BOOZE BECAME LEGAL ????
$100,000 DRUGS TO SAVE YOUR LIFE—THAT’S WHERE , AND THE U.S. GOV GETS THEIR FAIR
SHARE OF THE TAKE—America – the land of opportunity! for Politicians
scritic – And the banks are somehow the evil corporations..???
Trickling out ever so slowly and quietly new rules and regulations are devastating Medicare patients.
A new round of cuts to Medicare is slated for 2015. What further hardship will we face? Will the story be told then?