How much would you pay for a year of life? It seems Big Pharma has figured that number out and are charging over $100,000 a year for life saving Cancer drugs. Yes, surprise, surprise, the more dire the disease, the more the great for profit pharmaceutical industry is charging for the cure. In 2012 alone, of the 12 cancer drugs approved by the FDA, 11 cost over $100,000. A king's ransom for a breath of life. Who would not pay it in order to stay alive?
The 60 Minutes segment exposing the ripoff prices is called The Cost of Cancer Drugs. 60 Minutes not only reveals the outrageous cost of Cancer drugs but also how the Doctor's themselves make big profits by prescribing the most expensive ones to their patients. Here is the video segment below.
Dr. Leonard Saltz: And remember that many of these drugs, most of them, don't replace everything else. They get added to it. And if you figure one drug costs $120,000 and the next drug's not going to cost less, you're at a quarter-million dollars in drug costs just to get started.
Lesley Stahl: I mean, you're dealing with people who are desperate.
While these drugs are expensive globally, the United States is the only industrialized nation getting taken to the cleaners to this degree. The lie to the American people is these prices are incentive to innovate that they are necessary for innovation. Somehow profits motivate someone to invent. Just ask Dr. Jonas Salk about his polio vaccine, the gift he gave to the public free of charge, what a lie that is. Of course sociopathic entities cannot grasp altruism and empathy. We're all Ferengi now.
The most outrageous thing is the Obama administration and Congress had a chance to stop pharmaceutical companies putting a gun to people's head with their your money or your life drug prices. But the administration did not just do nothing. They took the payola from drug companies and stopped government even being allowed to negotiate drug prices. Yes, our politicians wrote into law that America must be suckers and subjugated to runaway drug prices set by big Pharma.
The ripoff prices for these drugs are just that as prices have increased over time for the most effective drugs. There is no increased research, no additional expenses to produce the drug.
Gleevec, from Novartis, possibly the greatest cancer drug ever invented, cost $24,000 a year when it was introduced in 2001; now it costs $90,000 per year, a quadrupling in price.
This isn't the first expose on the pharmaceutical industry's profiteering on people's desperation to stay alive. Earlier Bloomberg also piped up. Yet people without Medicine have a tendency to die which is once again very convenient for Big Pharma. There are few people left to testify before Congress or who attempt to sue the drug companies.
Earl Harford, a retired professor who lives in Tucson, recently bought a month’s worth of the pills he needs to keep his leukemia at bay. The cost: $7,676, three times more than when he began taking the pills in 2001. Over the years he’s paid more than $140,000 of his retirement savings to cover his share of the drug’s price. “People with this condition are being taken advantage of by the pharmaceutical industry,” says Harford. “They haven’t improved the drug; they haven’t done anything but keep manufacturing it. How do they justify it?”
How indeed. As one medical professional said, this is unconscionable.