Last month, the FDA approved a drug that effectively treats leukemia, known as Kymriah. The potential for this drug to help is high, so its price has taken a similar high route.
The drug was developed by a company known as Novartis, and is made for patients who have tried other treatments but have not seen any results. The drug changes the patients genes so that the white blood cells will directly target leukemia cells, and it may be a revolutionary treatment in the world of cancer drugs.
The drug costs a staggering $475,000 but is not the first drug to have an extreme price tag. A drug for Hepatitis C known as Solvaldi, cost a mind-blowing $84,000, which just goes to show that these specialty drugs can be priced at whatever the manufacturer wants.
The efforts are currently underway as many are trying to put price controls on the pharmaceutical industry. In October of this year, Maryland will begin to enforce the first-ever state law that is made to protect the public from “price gouging.” California legislature also just signed off on a bill that would require health plans to file reports on drug costs.
One of the main problems is how to actually price the drug. With Sovaldi, a drug that can cure 90% of patients who have Hep C, which was otherwise incurable, the pricing can be extremely skewed.
The regulations at a federal level are made to save lives can end up costing over $1 million per person. So how can one accurately price a drug, when lives are at stake? This seems to be a recurring theme throughout the industry and has plagued the public by forcing them into paying massive amounts for drugs they need to survive. Hopefully there will be some regulation on these drugs that will stop price gouging from occurring.