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Old 12-26-2015, 04:01 PM   #81
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Missed this news but back in July, over 100 top oncologists came out to criticize high cancer drug prices and call for law changes to address the situation:

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“What we’re fighting is the greed. The greed and the additional maneuvering that is being exercised after you’ve already recouped what you’ve invested. There is no control, no regulation,” Ayalew Tefferi, a hematologist at Mayo Clinic and the first signator on the new editorial, said in an interview.

The pharmaceutical industry counters that its medicines provide great value to patients and the health-care system, and that high prices are needed to fund future research and development.

“Too often the focus has been solely on the price of a medicine, and largely ignored the value these medicines are providing,” said Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. “We’ve made tremendous strides in the fight against cancer—death rates are down, survival rates are up, and quality of life continues to improve.”

Yet critics increasingly question whether the industry’s U.S. pricing truly reflects the value and R&D costs of medication, or simply what the largely unregulated market will bear. In most other countries, including Canada and European nations, single-payer health-care systems bargain hard with pharmaceutical companies, sometimes refusing to pay for drugs they deem unreasonably expensive. As a result, prices are often far lower in these markets.

The U.S., by contrast, finds it hard to say no. “The U.S. has always taken a very hands-off attitude, that patients are going to have access to new medical treatments regardless of the cost,” said David Howard, a professor of health policy and management at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. For a big payer like Medicare to refuse to cover a drug would be “a highly unprecedented situation,” he said.

In an editorial published in the Mayo Clinic’s medical journal, the doctors focus attention on the financial burden to patients, saying the out-of-pocket costs are bankrupting many just as they’re fighting a deadly illness. Pictured, downtown Rochester, Minn., where the Mayo Clinic is located. ENLARGE
In an editorial published in the Mayo Clinic’s medical journal, the doctors focus attention on the financial burden to patients, saying the out-of-pocket costs are bankrupting many just as they’re fighting a deadly illness. Pictured, downtown Rochester, Minn., where the Mayo Clinic is located. PHOTO: ELIZABETH NIDA OBERT/THE ROCHESTER POST-BULLETIN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
The U.S. market is highly fragmented, with many different parties, from employers to insurance companies to federal and state governments, paying for health care. That leaves drug buyers without the bargaining clout of single-payer systems in other countries.

Some U.S. payers are getting tougher with drug companies, demanding large discounts and more evidence that drugs are clinically effective enough to justify their price. They’ve also steered patients and doctors to more affordable medications by setting lower copayments for cost-effective drugs.

But in their Mayo Clinic editorial, the physicians say much more could be done to control prices. They recommend allowing Medicare to negotiate pricing directly with pharmaceutical companies, something the federal insurance program is barred from doing under a 2003 law. That law leaves the negotiating to private insurance companies and pharmacy-benefit managers that administer the Medicare drug benefit—a policy critics say deprives Medicare of the ability to use its buying power to drive down prices. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services declined to comment on the physicians’ recommendation.

The doctors also propose changing U.S. law to allow patients to import cancer drugs for personal use from other countries including Canada; reforming the patent system to make it more difficult to prolong product exclusivity; and using better regulation to prevent branded pharmaceutical companies from striking any deals with generic-drug companies that would delay the market launch of lower cost generics. The editorial also links to a petition seeking signatures in support of the proposals.
Some of the prices they're citing include:

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The average price of new cancer drugs in the U.S. increased five- to tenfold over 15 years, to more than $100,000 a year in 2012, according to the Mayo Clinic journal editorial. Some of the newest therapies, including those that harness a patient’s immune system to fight tumors, cost about $150,000 per patient a year. A top physician from Memorial Sloan Kettering recently warned that as doctors prescribe more cancer drugs for use in combination, the annual price could approach $300,000 per patient a year.
Doctors Object to High Cancer-Drug Prices - WSJ
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Old 12-26-2015, 07:03 PM   #82
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The occupational hazards of being an opportunistic shark-- the need to be entirely "clean" and to be sure you'll never, ever need a break or the goodwill of anyone.

An interesting question: "Would you take $5 million in legal gain if it meant you would also become widely reviled by the public?"
Without batting an eye.

The public's attention span is very short. Remember back in the day when Bill Gates was almost considered the devil for putting all of the smaller players out of business (remember Netscape?). Now it is saint Gates and clan. Well, maybe the multi billion dollar charity work had something to do with it.

You think while you are spending your $5 million down in Costa Rica that the locals are going to remember anything that happened in American news years ago?
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Old 12-26-2015, 07:07 PM   #83
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Without batting an eye.

The public's attention span is very short. Remember back in the day when Bill Gates was almost considered the devil for putting all of the smaller players out of business (remember Netscape?). Now it is saint Gates and clan. Well, maybe the multi billion dollar charity work had something to do with it.

You think while you are spending your $5 million down in Costa Rica that the locals are going to remember anything that happened in American news years ago?
Giving most of your $50 billion dollar fortune away does tend to improve ones image see Andrew Carnige and John D Rockefeller, for other examples. Of course one can now add Warren Buffet to the list.
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Old 12-26-2015, 07:10 PM   #84
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Missed this news but back in July, over 100 top oncologists came out to criticize high cancer drug prices and call for law changes to address the situation:
What is the average salary of a top oncologist? I am guessing it is quite a bit higher than the national average American household salary of around $50,000 (median wage is around $26,000).

I am going to guess that they get somewhere between $200,000 and $400,000 per year. Maybe we should have government caps on this too? Why are they paid so much?
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Old 12-26-2015, 07:29 PM   #85
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So attack the messenger is it?

What is the average salary of the pharma exec at those companies which charge 6 figures for those cancer therapies?

Really, no better answer than that?
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Old 12-26-2015, 08:16 PM   #86
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Giving most of your $50 billion dollar fortune away does tend to improve ones image see Andrew Carnige and John D Rockefeller, for other examples. Of course one can now add Warren Buffet to the list.
Oh yeah, Carnegie, Frick, Mellon and other generous folks were also members of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club. Said club owned the Conemaugh reservoir and the dam creating it. To ensure good fishing for the genteel folks a screen was added to the spillway to keep fish from going downstream.

This screen filled with debris and on 31 May 1889 after some heavy rains, the essentially umaintained earthen dam broke with near instant release of the lake's content. Nearly wiping the ctiy of Johnstown PA off the face of the earth. The largest dsaster in human lives lost, over 2000, only eclipsed by the 9/11 terrorist attack in the US.

They did provide blankets to many of the survivors and then some dollars to rebuild. Most of rebuild money came from the US Treasury, er uhm the taxpayers .

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Old 12-26-2015, 09:36 PM   #87
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So attack the messenger is it?

What is the average salary of the pharma exec at those companies which charge 6 figures for those cancer therapies?

Really, no better answer than that?
No, just pointing out that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

I was waiting for the defense of the oncologist salary being something along the lines of "they worked hard for their education", "they likely have high student loan debt early in their career".

I then wanted to point out that *those* companies which charge 6 figures for some therapies might have also worked hard and incurred very high costs and risks guiding thousands of people through at least three lengthy trials of a drug.

There is so much survivor bias here. Nobody is considering the thousands of drugs which $0 is charged because they failed in the trials after billions of dollars was spent. Where does that money come from? Fairies?
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Old 12-26-2015, 10:03 PM   #88
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<long snip>Where does that money come from? Fairies?
Oh, gosh, I wonder if some of that money does come from that marginalized group.
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Old 12-26-2015, 10:05 PM   #89
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Oh please.

Read the article and search whatever you need to search to come up with these "billions" spent for these drugs.

You'll notice that the pharma industry rep quoted in the article says NOTHING about billions spent to develop these drugs. They talk up value provided, like higher survival rates.

So they're in essence saying, "we saved your life, now pay up."

The oncology drugs was a $79 billion market in 2014. Go ahead, claim again that they're just covering their costs.

The doctors see prices going up year after year. So they make the claim that the pharmaceuticals have recovered their costs:

Quote:
“What we’re fighting is the greed. The greed and the additional maneuvering that is being exercised after you’ve already recouped what you’ve invested. There is no control, no regulation,” Ayalew Tefferi, a hematologist at Mayo Clinic and the first signator on the new editorial, said in an interview.
The pharmas aren't denying this claim.

Now there is a push by some legislators to provide transparency in costs:

Quote:
Others have called for the pharmaceutical industry to justify rising prices by disclosing more about its R&D and manufacturing costs. Legislators in states including California and North Carolina have introduced legislation recently calling for these disclosures. The California bill calls for a detailed breakdown of costs including clinical trials, regulatory expenses, manufacturing, acquisition costs, and others, for drugs that have an annual wholesale price of $10,000 or more.
But all you need to know is that a lot of these same drugs are priced at a fraction of what they're charging for the US.

You should really just say that these companies have the right to charge what they can get in the American market, that they have a right to maximize profits, etc. instead of trying to make dubious arguments about "billions lost" or "doctors get paid too much."

Doctors may get paid too much but that's a different issue. The topic at hand is drug pricing. Let me guess, only people who make $50k or less can comment on drug prices being too high?
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Old 12-26-2015, 10:22 PM   #90
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My doctor told me about her dog. She needed three vials of anti-venom at $800 per vial after a rattlesnake bite. However, since she got bitten when she got between the snake and the toddler, they didn't begrudge the cost.
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Old 12-26-2015, 10:47 PM   #91
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Oh please.

Read the article and search whatever you need to search to come up with these "billions" spent for these drugs.

You'll notice that the pharma industry rep quoted in the article says NOTHING about billions spent to develop these drugs. They talk up value provided, like higher survival rates.

So they're in essence saying, "we saved your life, now pay up."

The oncology drugs was a $79 billion market in 2014. Go ahead, claim again that they're just covering their costs.

The doctors see prices going up year after year. So they make the claim that the pharmaceuticals have recovered their costs:

The pharmas aren't denying this claim.
Oh wow, criminal! They want to continue to make a profit after recovering the investment costs. Oh wait, that kind of sounds similar to some other for profit business....let me see if I can recall which one. Oh yeah. ALL OF THEM.
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Old 12-26-2015, 10:57 PM   #92
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Ok, I pulled one of the thousands of failed drug companies so you can see where all the evil profits have gone. This company is Oxigene and is still traded at $0.82 a share. Imagine if you invested in this company at the various points during the past two decades when they were guiding future failures through trials. Look at the vast amount of money that was lost.

For every drug that makes money for the company that survives there are hundreds of investor horror stories like this one. You want to remove the ability for investors to profit from the success and not provide any compensation for the losers. Who is going to invest in such a risky market if the profit is seriously capped and the losses are so enormous?

Who is going to speak up for the past Oxigene investors? Where is their congressional panel?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg oxgn.jpg (98.8 KB, 6 views)
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Old 12-26-2015, 11:03 PM   #93
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The drugs we have are amazing, and the drugs coming next, tailored to individual patients and genetics of individual cancers, etc, will be even more amazing-- and expensive. I want there to be plenty of incentive now to keep bright minds at work on this. And by "incentive" I mean " money". Just like we incentivize individuals and companies who develop other things we need.

Now, we have to figure out a practical way to make the recipients of these products pay for them. "Practical" will be tough, but this is key to making it work and to efficient allocation of resources. We can't afford everything.
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Old 12-26-2015, 11:12 PM   #94
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The drugs we have are amazing, and the drugs coming next, tailored to individual patients and genetics of individual cancers, etc, will be even more amazing-- and expensive. I want there to be plenty of incentive now to keep bright minds at work on this. And by "incentive" I mean " money"? Just like we incentivize individuals and companies who develop other things we need.

Now, we have to figure out a practical way to have the recipients of these products pay for them. "Practical" will be tough, but this is key to making it work and to efficient allocation of resources. We can't afford everything.
Damn, someone on this board actually gets it.
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Old 12-26-2015, 11:14 PM   #95
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Way to keep changing the subject again.

Who cares about some failed startup? If you invested in a company before it had a tested and approved product, which has an actual market, then you took a risk.

The issue is certain established pharmaceutical companies charging tens or hundreds of thousands.

But you're right, let's worry about the investors more than patients who can't afford life-saving drugs.
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Old 12-26-2015, 11:16 PM   #96
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Way to keep changing the subject again.

Who cares about some failed startup? If you invested in a company before it had a tested and approved product, which has an actual market, then you took a risk.

The issue is certain established pharmaceutical companies charging tens or hundreds of thousands.

But you're right, let's worry about the investors more than patients who can't afford life-saving drugs.
I give up. You are right.
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Old 12-26-2015, 11:57 PM   #97
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Damn, someone on this board actually gets it.
Lots of people get it, but they are smarter than I am and don't bother with some of these discussions if there appears tone no point..
Some people have a worldview that starts with "there's all this (wealth, food, new pharmaceuticals, whatever) how can we distribute it fairly". Others have a worldview that seeks to understand how we produce (wealth, food, new pharmaceuticals, whatever)' and believe a system that encourages further production of the things we value most will do the greatest good.

To avoid passing judgement, I think it best to agree that both ways of viewing the world have equal value.
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Old 12-27-2015, 12:24 AM   #98
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<another big snip>
But you're right, let's worry about the investors more than patients who can't afford life-saving drugs.

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I give up. You are right.
Since explanade conceded that Fermion was right before Fermion gave up and conceded that explanade was right, I think Fermion wins as he conceded too late--kind of like you can't get a time-out called after the clock runs out. Yeah, just like that (or not).

But now, I have a question: in a political race when one candidate concedes regarding an election, but then the conceding candidate goes on to garner more votes than his opponent, who wins, the "conceder" or the "concedee"?
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Old 12-27-2015, 02:01 AM   #99
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Missed this news but back in July, over 100 top oncologists came out to criticize high cancer drug prices and call for law changes to address the situation...
A couple of years back, I read an article in Time that described how some oncologists, at Sloan-Kettering if my memory serves, refused to prescribe some expensive drugs not because they were so expensive but because they extended the life of terminal cancer patients only days. In other words, doctors were starting to question the economics of the treatment, instead of doing whatever it cost to prolong the patient life.

Doctors were not expected to consider the cost of treatment, and doing so risked them of being accused of "rationing" healthcare. But some started to question the impact to society of such expenses. They pointed out that it would be inhumane to deny a $100,000 drug treatment that would truly cure a patient, but what if that money only buys him a month of miserable life?
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Old 12-27-2015, 06:18 AM   #100
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My doctor told me about her dog. She needed three vials of anti-venom at $800 per vial after a rattlesnake bite. However, since she got bitten when she got between the snake and the toddler, they didn't begrudge the cost.
Is that all? That's not a bad price.

A neighbor got bit by a copper head and he said the anti-venom cost as charged was $10k. And then another 40k for the compartment syndrome surgery and recovery he had to have.
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