I’m surprised that anybody was actually admonished about this, considering how long they’ve been getting away with charging sky high prices for their drugs. Maybe it’s a turn for the better.
What’s really crazy is that in the article, they say that the price for the cancer drug had actually went up by $80,000 over a few years. So $120,000/year for this drug isn’t gouging, but $200,000 is??? So are we to understand that $120,000/year for this drug is economical, fair and affordable but $200,000/year is where we draw the line? $120,000/year fits right into the average cancer patient’s budget but $200,000/year doesn’t?
Do you see the cruel irony here? Or is it just me?
Is this the affordable health care Obamacare was supposed to create? It appears to me that $120,000/year for a medicine is just as much gouging as $200,000/year. And it’s not even a cure! In what alternate reality is this even in the neighborhood of acceptable?
Lawmakers have slammed a pharmaceutical company for raising the price of a crucial leukemia drug by 40 per cent in less than a year.
Bernie Sanders is leading the interrogation into ARIAD Pharmaceuticals in the latest battle between government and big pharma firms.
ARIAD produces Iclusig, which is used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia in some patients.
Now it costs $200,000 a year – up $80,000 in just a few years.
It targets an abnormal protein which prevents the body from regulating white blood cells.
Some patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia use the drug in combination with others.
But for people with chronic myeloid leukemia, this is one of the most crucial forms of medication.
The majority of chronic myeloid leukemia sufferers (95 per cent) have a genetic abnormality that means their body produces the abnormal protein BCR-ABL.
The latest hike, announced this month, has been met with outraged cries from patients.
It comes on the heels of two major controversies – when disgraced Turig CEO Martin Shkreli increased the price of life-saving drug Daraprim, and when drugmaker Mylan recently hiked the price of the EpiPen.
Sen Bernie Sanders claims ARIAD’s price hike is in the same league – and has written to the firm with Rep Elijah Cummings, D-Md, for an explanation.
‘These outrageous sales tactics indicate that ARIAD is more concerned with its profit than with its patients,’ Sanders and Cummings wrote.
Sanders also tweeted about the company last week: ‘Drug corporations’ greed is unbelievable. Ariad has raised the price of a leukemia drug to almost $199,000 a year.’
According to data from Truven Health Analytics, the list price for a year’s supply of Iclusig tablets has increased from $114,960 in 2012 to $198,732 in October 2016.
Sanders and Cummings also said they are investigating whether the company tried to boost profits by tweaking pill dosages and quantities to charge insurers and patients more for less medicine.
The FDA approved Iclusig in 2012 as a treatment for two rare types of leukemia, but the company suspended sales the next October because of heightened concerns that patients could suffer from life-threatening blood clots.
In December 2013, it relaunched with added warnings and to a smaller subset of patients.
The inquiry comes as other pharmaceutical companies have come under fire from Congress for price hikes.
Martin Shkreli, the brash former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, became the poster child of pharmaceutical-industry greed last fall for hiking the price of a life-saving drug, Daraprim, by more than 5,000 percent.