Biologic Drug costs

** Originally posted by bjmacc **

the problem is cost

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/health/2008119250_drugs17m.html

..Net revenue is a polite way of saying profit..

Enbrel profit alone is $1 billion every three months.

Report post

12 replies. Join the discussion

** Originally posted by wildflowerAnn **

I have to agree. I have Blue Cross/Blue Shield with a 20% co-pay if I get my meds from the pharmacy. The co-pay's for my meds ran just under $500 per month until the best dosage for CellCept was determined. With mail order, the co-pay dropped to $13 per month for the CellCept. Blue Cross won't allow cyclosporene to be purchased through the mail order program, so even for the generic, it was $100 per month! P and PsA meds are so expensive. Like the people interviewed in the article, there isn't much choice. You can't have any quality of life in constant pain, and nobody wants paralysis if it can be avoided. It really sucks for people who don't have health insurance.

Report post

** Originally posted by bjmacc **

Many work and still have no or poor coverage and as costs go up insurance covers less..this will include biologics even more so in the future. While with each new biologic, the price seems to increase and the millions worldwide who need them certainly can't apply or expect relief.

I'm not just speaking of only americans, where 50 million don't have resources..but anyone on this planet. In a third world country? an isolated village let alone the streets of any city in the US?, These costs of $2,000-3,000/month are more then a yearly income for many.

How much can be charged for an essential medicine and when does a society step in and say enough. Is there no limit to profit and how much can be made on the needy?

Can a society say to a corporation...yes, you have patent protection and understanding that many of the patents may have been derived from university or government research monies.... but there are patent exceptions...such as for essential drugs and there are limits to what society will pay.

I see many comments about insurance..glad we have it, wish everyone was covered..etc..that s not my point...insurance still pays the full cost..whatever it is and this is simply passed on to other consumers or society in general....rates just go up or others go without..but we all pay in some fashion..

my question is...is there a limit to what a corporation can charge for an essential drug in a capitalist society? The government could say..as Canada does...this is what we will pay...or even more extreme but perhaps necessary..for essential drugs. patents are limited ...if you can't produce an essential product for a fair price, considering true overhead, then society will find someone who can.

Its one thing to make huge profits on products that people chose to purchase be they cars, clothing, homes ...even medical procedures like some plastic surgery etc...but for essential services or products like the biologics where people have little choice and actually can not do without......does society have a duty to step in and say ...enough? ..... I believe they do.

just some thoughts...

bj

Report post

** Originally posted by bjmacc **

marginalizing the question by trivializing it does not make it any less relevant

the costs are too high as are the profits

Report post

** Originally posted by Mbs43906 **

I know this will be a unpopular post, but they are in business to make money. Would you produce anything and not be expected to be paid for it?

Report post

** Originally posted by bjmacc **

hi mbs...i'm all for profit...but is there no limit to how much profit can be made on essential services or medicines.

or does society have a duty to step in and say...this drug or service is essential and above a fair profit or return on investment..you can not charge whatever you want.

you can choose to eat rice and not steak
go to a ball game or not
ride a bike or drive

but some do not have a choice for essential drugs that are protected from competition by patent laws..in the US or outside it.

bj

Report post

** Originally posted by bjmacc **

karen...lol...snarky..Rudely sarcastic or disrespectful; snide.

i'm have never been called snarky...and certainly no disrespectl

In my view..the analogy you made did not apply ...Baseball,food etc and life giving drugs aren't analogous...you suggested choices that one can choose to make or discretionary choices..

with life saving drugs...people have no choice..they need them and the high cost gives them no choice..

its a broad question...is there a point when society steps in and says enough?

ok...less snarky...everything is good, i will be stepfordlike...:0)

bj

Report post

** Originally posted by Mbs43906 **

hi mbs...i'm all for profit...but is there no limit to how much profit can be made on essential services or medicines.

or does society have a duty to step in and say...this drug or service is essential and above a fair profit or return on investment..you can not charge whatever you want.

you can choose to eat rice and not steak
go to a ball game or not
ride a bike or drive

but some do not have a choice for essential drugs that are protected from competition by patent laws..in the US or outside it.

bj

No, there should be no limit on someones profit. This is the basis upon our society is built. If someone makes a product, and someone else decides to purchase it, who are we to tell them that they made too much money? It could be medical, food, whatever you pick. We are the ones who decide what to buy. If you can not afford it, you need to pick an alternative.

Report post

** Originally posted by bjmacc **

No exceptions?

then its ok to price gouge during a hurricane or some national disaster in the name of profit

$100 for a bottle of water? when people have no choice?

or how about $24,000/year for biologics to relieve pain and suffering..when one has little other choice...for them it may be a personal disaster of illness

is there a point where society steps in and says enough?

remember, a patent is a privilege we give out..it is not a right...like selling airwaves there is a dual responsibility...we give the privilege of protection...the patent holder has the responsibility to not abuse it .....should we include .....for a fair price.

Report post

** Originally posted by ROBERTKLEIN **

IT APPEARS TO MRE THAT MANY OF THESE DRUGS HAVE BEEN AROUND LONB ENOUGH TO PERMIT GENERIC DRUG MANUFACTURES TO BE PRODUCING GENERIC EQUIVELANTS (HOPE THAT'S SPELLED OK) WHAT'S STOPPING THEM. IS THERE ANY GOVERNMENTAL REGULATIONS THAT ARE BEING PUSHED ASIDE? ANYBODY - NOT YOU WITH THAT PUZZLED LOOK ON YOUR FACE --BUT ANYBODY...KNOW WHY?

Report post

** Originally posted by bjmacc **

well bobby...I'm afraid you are mistaken...not the biologics for psoriasis...drug patents last 20 years from submission...

enbrel is done in 2009 but they will probably add something to it and get the patent extended..

Report post

** Originally posted by wildflowerAnn **

I have to agree with bjmacc. His point is that this is akin to price gouging in times of distress, and I agree with this analogy. We don't allow price gouging in other times of crisis, so when a person's health is in crisis, why do we allow the medical community to charge such high prices for needed services and medication? I guess this debate will continue until the U.S. government decides to negotiate drug prices like other nations do.
Gosh, some people have posted that a tiny tube of ointment costs more than $400 without insurance. That is just too much for a tube of ointment. People with other diseases don't get taken like that. My two cents. :)

Report post

** Originally posted by bjmacc **

hi Karen...each time a new use for a drug is discovered..then a patent extension can be applied for...simply the use of Enbrel for Alzheimers or any other disease where its effective can qualify for a patent extension

here is a list of the 40 top sellers in 2006 and the value of patent extensions.
http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jgm/journal/v5/n3/fig_tab/jgm20086t4.html

another method is to alter the drug in some way...as this article suggests.. http://money.cnn.com/2007/03/21/news/companies/drug_patents/index.htm

also...this Wyeth annual report suggests the patent runs out on Enbrel in 2014...so they have it pretty well covered.

http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:soogP4tFsZcJ:sec.edgar-online.com/2004 /03/12/0000005187-04-000048/Section2.asp+enbrel+patent+extension&hl=en&ct=c lnk&cd=12&gl=us

I do agree though that patents should begin once a drug is ok'd rather then when it is submitted... the process can take years...i'm not against profit especially for an effective drug like enbrel..but i believe there should be a percentage limit for non discretionary drugs

to find the production cost ...rather then their pr spin, is practically a state secret..but its produced here and overseas...A few years ago there was an interview in the MPLs star and tribune..with the retired vice president of marketing for Phizer if i recall. He claimed in the interview, which i'm sure he now regrets, that sales and marketing costs were much higher then for research and development...so, who one wants to believe is largely dependent on spin or the lack of. I think this fellow had forgotten to put his spin hat on that day.

Mass health care ...is in for some surprises http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/02/03/subsidized_care_plans_ cost_to_double/

Mass now wants 1.5 billion from the federal government to keep it going...

i applaud the intent..but i am against mandated health care for many reasons.

bj

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Support the National Psoriasis Foundation

Help the National Psoriasis Foundation reach its goals and support people like yourself by making a donation today.

Donate to the National Psoriasis Foundation

Discussion topics

Additional resources

Community leaders