Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Big Pharma: Pushing the Edge of the Envelope

Big Pharma: Pushing the Edge of the Envelope

by Caroline Poplin MD, JD

Wall Street's drive for profits is hiking drug prices, says Caroline Poplin, MD, JD

The good news: in the last 20 years, pharmaceutical companies have developed novel, effective treatments, sometimes even cures, for some of the worst illnesses dogging humanity: HIV, hepatitis C, leukemia and other cancers, and autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Moreover, the new so-called specialty drugs are often safer and less toxic than older ones. 
The bad news: the prices of the new drugs are high and rising, any way you look at it. Kalydeco, a drug for cystic fibrosis patients with a particular genetic mutation, is perhaps the most extreme example -- over $300,000 a year, and this drug is taken for life.

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