How do we price life saving drugs?

blindnessI recently heard about a child who suffers with Retinitis Pigementosa. This is a problem that will cause blindness. A drug company has developed a drug that actually cures the problem. The cost of the drug was the question. Below is a statement about the cost.

A US drugmaker offers to cure rare blindness for $850,000. Spark Therapeutics’ Luxturna will cost $850,000 for a one-time treatment. The gene therapy treats a rare, inherited retinal disease that can lead to blindness.Jan 3, 2018 https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/03/spark-therapeutics-luxturna-gene-therapy-will-cost-about-850000.html

The child has received the drug. I am not sure if he received it as a test or if somehow it was paid for. Already his vision is improving. The news person was interviewing the person who I think is the owner/ceo?  He was asked how the company set the price on the drug. The answer was so outrageous that I was stunned to hear it.

“We set the drug cost based on the value of curing blindness.”

I have never heard such a thing. I have worked for years in the medical field and certainly realize that drug costs are outrageous…think about the controversy about insulin…but this is beyond amazing. I cannot believe that the head of a drug company would have the nerve to make that statement. Imagine if all drugs were priced accordingly.

Usually the drug companies explain their high prices by talking about the years spent in research and development. Overdone maybe, but a least reasonable idea. But to actually state on national TV that the drug is based on the value of a cure was incredible. Companies usually base the cost of a product on the cost of manufacture plus profit but that is all changing. Now we seem to be setting prices based on what the market will bear. This may be fine for TVs, computers etc. but this is a life saving drug. I hope the scientist who discovered this drug was paid well and feels good about his participation in this fiasco.

The news person didn’t even seem phased by that answer.

sense_of_morality

Where are we headed? The moral sense of this world has disappeared. Making a huge profit is more important that making life worth living. I don’t recognize the world anymore!

Too much stuff!

Today we are back from the Mayo Clinic with a successful surgery done. Thanks be to God!

stuffOn the car trip for some reason I noticed the number of storage facilities we passed. It made me thing about what a wasteful society we are. We have so many things that we have to rent storage containers to store the excess. Think of what good that excess could do.

When I was young in the 50’s and 60’s people didn’t buy things they couldn’t pay for. In the 50’s the only credit card I remember was American Express that was used by people when they traveled. Now there are so many that I doubt we could name them all in several days.

While watching the news it was said that 11% of people would be willing to go into debt to get the new Iphone. I think they said it is $1600. Amazing!

We are so terribly terribly wasteful. We throw away perfectly good food. Buy new versions of electronic equipment frequently trashing the perfectly good ones we have. We can’t continue this way. The glut of things that we have flows over into storage areas that we pay money to rent.

garage-full-of-stuff

What is wrong with us?