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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Press Releases and Film News  |  $93,000 cancer drug: How much is a life worth? « previous next »
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Author Topic: $93,000 cancer drug: How much is a life worth?  (Read 1750 times)
3mnkids
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« on: September 27, 2010, 11:04:04 AM »

http://news.bostonherald.com/business/healthcare/view/2010092793000_cancer_drug_how_much_is_a_life_worth/
Quote
BOSTON – Cancer patients, brace yourselves. Many new drug treatments cost nearly $100,000 a year, sparking fresh debate about how much a few months more of life is worth.

The latest is Provenge, a first-of-a-kind therapy approved in April. It costs $93,000 and adds four months' survival, on average, for men with incurable prostate tumors. Bob Svensson is honest about why he got it: insurance paid.

"I would not spend that money," because the benefit doesn't seem worth it, says Svensson, 80, a former corporate finance officer from Bedford, Mass.   His supplemental Medicare plan is paying while the government decides whether basic Medicare will cover Provenge and for whom.


Quote
For the last decade, new cancer-fighting drugs have been topping $5,000 a month. Only a few of these keep cancer in remission so long that they are, in effect, cures. For most people, the drugs may buy a few months or years.


Disgusting. This is why they will never cure cancer. Too much money to be made. Im not saying they should be giving the stuff away, developing new drug treatments is expensive and time consuming, I get that.. but come on.
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indianasmith
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2010, 07:51:21 PM »

I think a HUGE part of the problem with Health Care is that the consumer, in the end, DOESN'T pay for it.  The bill goes either to an insurance company, or to the government, most of the time, which helps keep prices inflated.
Then, trial lawyers do the rest, with ridiculous lawsuits and out-of-court settlements.

A consumer-driven, capitalist system would drive costs down, because people would shop till they found the best price.
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akiratubo
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2010, 08:34:13 PM »

How much is a life worth?  As much as someone is willing to pay.
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Allhallowsday
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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2010, 07:38:50 AM »

I think a HUGE part of the problem with Health Care is that the consumer, in the end, DOESN'T pay for it.  The bill goes either to an insurance company, or to the government, most of the time, which helps keep prices inflated.
Don't tell me we don't pay for it.  In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. 

A consumer-driven, capitalist system would drive costs down, because people would shop till they found the best price.
That's just rhetoric. 
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Jim H
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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2010, 12:30:53 PM »

I think a HUGE part of the problem with Health Care is that the consumer, in the end, DOESN'T pay for it.  The bill goes either to an insurance company, or to the government, most of the time, which helps keep prices inflated.
Then, trial lawyers do the rest, with ridiculous lawsuits and out-of-court settlements.

A consumer-driven, capitalist system would drive costs down, because people would shop till they found the best price.

I'm going to call shenanigans on that, assuming we're talking about the thread title.  Drug companies get a MONOPOLY on their drugs for TWENTY YEARS.  How would capitalism help deal with a state enforced monopoly?
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Umaril The Unfeathered
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« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2010, 04:55:54 PM »

I think a HUGE part of the problem with Health Care is that the consumer, in the end, DOESN'T pay for it.  The bill goes either to an insurance company, or to the government, most of the time, which helps keep prices inflated.
Then, trial lawyers do the rest, with ridiculous lawsuits and out-of-court settlements.

A consumer-driven, capitalist system would drive costs down, because people would shop till they found the best price.

I'm going to call shenanigans on that, assuming we're talking about the thread title.  Drug companies get a MONOPOLY on their drugs for TWENTY YEARS.  How would capitalism help deal with a state enforced monopoly?

State Rights would be the key. If states would allow for their consumers to shop out of state (as well as shop around in their own state) that might help. But the fact that this would be a losing game plan for the monopolies will most likely see this type of freedom becoming a pipe dream.
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Jim H
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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2010, 05:02:22 PM »

I think a HUGE part of the problem with Health Care is that the consumer, in the end, DOESN'T pay for it.  The bill goes either to an insurance company, or to the government, most of the time, which helps keep prices inflated.
Then, trial lawyers do the rest, with ridiculous lawsuits and out-of-court settlements.

A consumer-driven, capitalist system would drive costs down, because people would shop till they found the best price.

I'm going to call shenanigans on that, assuming we're talking about the thread title.  Drug companies get a MONOPOLY on their drugs for TWENTY YEARS.  How would capitalism help deal with a state enforced monopoly?

State Rights would be the key. If states would allow for their consumers to shop out of state (as well as shop around in their own state) that might help. But the fact that this would be a losing game plan for the monopolies will most likely see this type of freedom becoming a pipe dream.

You're not understanding my point.  Any drug a company creates is patented.  No one else can make it for 20 years, PERIOD.  Competition will never have any significant effect on the pricing of patented drugs.  I don't know if there is a solution to this, but competition between companies when only one of them can make the product makes no sense.
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Umaril The Unfeathered
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« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2010, 05:15:43 PM »

I think a HUGE part of the problem with Health Care is that the consumer, in the end, DOESN'T pay for it.  The bill goes either to an insurance company, or to the government, most of the time, which helps keep prices inflated.
Then, trial lawyers do the rest, with ridiculous lawsuits and out-of-court settlements.

A consumer-driven, capitalist system would drive costs down, because people would shop till they found the best price.

I'm going to call shenanigans on that, assuming we're talking about the thread title.  Drug companies get a MONOPOLY on their drugs for TWENTY YEARS.  How would capitalism help deal with a state enforced monopoly?

State Rights would be the key. If states would allow for their consumers to shop out of state (as well as shop around in their own state) that might help. But the fact that this would be a losing game plan for the monopolies will most likely see this type of freedom becoming a pipe dream.

You're not understanding my point.  Any drug a company creates is patented.  No one else can make it for 20 years, PERIOD.  Competition will never have any significant effect on the pricing of patented drugs.  I don't know if there is a solution to this, but competition between companies when only one of them can make the product makes no sense.

I got your point about the monopoly, that wasn't a problem. I should have mentioned that I also had generic drugs in mind...certainly there are drugs that will do the same thing as the parent drug (in many cases.) 

But being that you mentioned the monopoly, most likely generics of the parent drug will be banned too (to stop the company from losing money.)

Part of why I ask this is because my wife's plan recently stopped generics in favor of OTC remedies for certain medications. And I can only think that the reason I mentioned above is their rationale. I dunno, I could be wrong.

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Tam-Riel na nou Sancremath.
Dawn's Beauty is our shining home.

An varlais, nou bala, an kynd, nou latta.
The stars are our power, the sky is our light.

Malatu na nou karan.
Truth is our armor.

Malatu na bala
Truth is power.

Heca, Pellani! Agabaiyane Ehlnadaya!
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Auri-El na nou ata, ye A, Umaril, an Aran!
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Jim H
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« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2010, 05:39:57 PM »

When the patent is around, they can't make generic versions of the drugs at all - they have to wait for 20 years for the patent to expire to make generics.  So yes, in many cases life saving new drugs (which may be the only option depending on the specific health issue in question, or often are simply the best option among several expensive ones) are ONLY available for those who can afford to spend tens of thousands of dollars a year - especially since they're often not covered by insurance, as they're considered new and untested.  But, of course, these high prices help drive development of new drugs.  So I really am not sure what can be done to help with the situation.  Maybe price caps that kick in after the first few years and gradually force prices down?  I don't know.  The drug companies certainly aren't hurting for money, that's for sure.

What's most interesting, of course, is patents are not generally internationally binding.  So, in much of Africa, prescription drugs under patent in the USA might not be over there.
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Umaril The Unfeathered
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« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2010, 07:06:17 PM »

When the patent is around, they can't make generic versions of the drugs at all - they have to wait for 20 years for the patent to expire to make generics.  So yes, in many cases life saving new drugs (which may be the only option depending on the specific health issue in question, or often are simply the best option among several expensive ones) are ONLY available for those who can afford to spend tens of thousands of dollars a year - especially since they're often not covered by insurance, as they're considered new and untested.  But, of course, these high prices help drive development of new drugs.  So I really am not sure what can be done to help with the situation.  Maybe price caps that kick in after the first few years and gradually force prices down?  I don't know.  The drug companies certainly aren't hurting for money, that's for sure.

What's most interesting, of course, is patents are not generally internationally binding.  So, in much of Africa, prescription drugs under patent in the USA might not be over there.

Wow, what a monopoly..that hardly seems fair. That's almost as bad as the insurance companies that restrict pre-existing conditions, yet look the other way for rich, privileged folk. Not all companies but I'm sure there's a few..

I'd wager that the fact that patents aren't international is the potential saving grace...this would allow companies to create a drug comparable to (of not better) than the one in question w\o anything getting in the way (due to some oddball law on the books which may allow for it.)

Price caps? Good luck with that...far be it from companies to not know where their bread is buttered.  Very interesting story!
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Tam-Riel na nou Sancremath.
Dawn's Beauty is our shining home.

An varlais, nou bala, an kynd, nou latta.
The stars are our power, the sky is our light.

Malatu na nou karan.
Truth is our armor.

Malatu na bala
Truth is power.

Heca, Pellani! Agabaiyane Ehlnadaya!
Be gone, outsiders! I do not fear your mortal gods!

Auri-El na nou ata, ye A, Umaril, an Aran!
Aure-El is our father, and I, Umaril, the king!
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