It’s not just Turing Pharmaceuticals, maker of the now-infamous Daraprim, the drug whose price jumped by 5,000 percent overnight, that appears to be exploiting patients.
The price of those drugs is up to 600 times more than the cost of production, Reuters reported this week.
In the U.S., a patient can expect to pay $75,000 to $100,000 per year, twice as much as a European counterpart, for these drugs, which have fewer side effects than chemotherapy.
The World Health Organization has determined that TKIs can be produced at a low cost, adding one such drug to its list of essential medicines earlier this year.
The findings of the study, carried out by Andrew Hill, a pharmacologist at theUniversity of Liverpool in Britain, come amid a raging debate over the price of drugs in general, not just cancer treatments, in the United States.
“There has to be some middle ground between the prices that companies are charging, which may not even be cost-effective by the standards set by some healthcare authorities, and the actual production cost.” Pharmaceutical companies have long maintained that drugs are priced so high because those profits fund critical research and development, allowing drug companies to create better medicines, and more of them.
A spokeswoman for Novartis told Reuters the cost of production was not theonly factor determining the price of a drug.