Good lord that is a lot of money:
Imatinib, priced at $26,000/yr in 2001, has ⬆️ by 10%–20% annually, reaching $132,000 in 2014 & $146,000 today !! https://t.co/YqoQtg0HUB
— Alvaro Carrascal (@CarrascalAlvaro) June 1, 2016
There is no better example than imatinib for what the US does well with drugs and what it does poorly. https://t.co/nglSZcVgBQ
— Walid Gellad (@walidgellad) June 1, 2016
Situations like this for the brand name drug Gleevac are why we need to seriously rethink and revamp our intellectual property regimes.
From WBUR on the difference between the manufacturing cost of Gleevac and its list price:
For instance, the analysis figures the true cost of a year’s supply of Gleevec (generic name imatinib), used to treat certain kinds of leukemia, at $159.
But the yearly price tag for Gleevec is $106,322 in the U.S. and $31,867 in the U.K. A generic version costs about $8,000 in Brazil.
“We were quite surprised just how cheap a lot of these cancer drugs really are,” pharmacologist Andrew Hill of the University of Liverpool said in an interview. “There’s a lot of scope for prices to come down.”
There is a need for profit in order to chase the next round of success, but there is also a need for society to devote resources to other things. Somewhere between $159 and $106,322 is a better number which still gives strong incentives for new research while not choking the American economy to death. Yes, there would be losers, Wall Street would take a massive hit, Pharma C-level execs would be snorting lower quality blow off of slightly less classy hookers’ asses, but those are costs I think we should be more than willing to accept.