The average price of a new cancer drug now exceeds $100,000 a year. The patient does not pay the entire tab, but someone who needs a prescription can still spend $25,000, not reimbursed by health insurance. That steep co-payment equals about half of what the typical U.S. household earns in a year.
It is not just new cancer therapies that bear stratospheric price tags. Last year Turing Pharmaceuticals, a New York City start-up, provoked widespread outrage after it bought a 62-year-old infectious disease drug called Daraprim and raised the price from $13.50 a pill to an astounding $750 a pill before agreeing to scale back the price slightly. Patients in the U.S. often pay much more than Europeans for older drugs—not just for new pharmaceuticals protected by patents. In the U.S., prescription drug spending increased 13.1 percent in 2014, the highest annual increase since 2003.
Full article available on Scientific American
Picture: Scientific American