Can We Follow the European Model to Curb Drug Costs, Asks Dr Peter Bach

In an Ope-Ed in The New York Times , Peter Bach, MD, from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, questions the rising drug prices and contemplates solutions.

Eli Lilly charges more than $13,000 a month for Cyramza, the newest drug to treat stomach cancer. The latest medicine for lung cancer, Novartis’s Zykadia, costs almost $14,000 a month. Amgen’s Blincyto, for leukemia, will cost $64,000 a month.

Why? Drug manufacturers blame high prices on the complexity of biology, government regulations and shareholder expectations for high profit margins. In other words, they say, they are hamstrung. But there’s a simpler explanation.

Companies are taking advantage of a mix of laws that force insurers to include essentially all expensive drugs in their policies, and a philosophy that demands that every new health care product be available to everyone, no matter how little it helps or how much it costs. Anything else and we’re talking death panels.

Link to the article in The New York Times: http://nyti.ms/1yfN39k