Tag Archives: drug cost

Washington Post: Why Extremely Expensive Drugs Are Often Worth the Cost

Breast Cancer

Jason Millman highlights a new study published in Health Affairs showing specialty drugs often provide ‘substantially much higher health benefits than the traditional drugs.’ “Our study suggests that although specialty drugs often have higher costs than traditional drugs, they also tend to confer greater benefits and hence may still offer reasonable value for money,” wrote the researchers at the Boston-based Center for Value and Risk in Health. The study authors judged the drugs’ performance by Read More >

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WSJ Editorial: The Medical Innovation Threat

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An editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal looks at the rising threat the American insurance industry’s increasingly loud attacks on Sovaldi, a revolutionary new Hepatitis C treatment pose for medical innovation and the development of new specialty drugs. As the editors rightly note, “Sovaldi is the kind of medicine that the drug scolds claim to want—a true scientific advance with a near-perfect cure rate for Hepatitis C, the liver-destroying virus that infects one of every 100 Read More >

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NYT Columnist: Insurance Industry “Looking at the Costs of Sovaldi in the Wrong Way”

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Margot Sanger-Katz’s article on a new drug that treats hepatitis C notes that despite the attention the cost has received to date, those attacking the drug are “looking at the costs of Sovaldi in the wrong way.” Sanger-Katz acknowledges that these one-time treatments can be a ‘shock to the system,’ but notes the value far outweighs the expense since it cures the disease in the majority of patients, preventing further costly treatments and care. Sanger-Katz Read More >

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The Cancer Death-Panel App

Annie Cavanagh. Wellcome Images

In an article for the New York Post, Robert Goldberg, vice president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, wrote about an app that will use an algorithm like those health plans apply to limit access to innovative treatments: “At ASCO’s national conference, Dr. Lee Newcomer, United Healthcare’s medical director, said the ‘motives [of insurers] are viewed with suspicion when it comes to deciding whether a treatment is cost-effective. So having ASCO play Read More >

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India Compulsory License: A Times of India Article Says It’s Not Helping the Poor

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India recently issued a compulsory license on Bayer’s liver and kidney cancer drug (Sorafenib) with the stated goal of providing access to India’s poor. However, the Times of India recently ran the article Cheap generics drugs no panacea for India’s poorest, quickly dispelling this myth: “The compulsory license system might not really work because poor people cannot even afford the discounted price,” said G. Balachandhran, former head of the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), India’s drug Read More >

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