USA: Video report on role of pharmaceutical & insurance companies in high price of cancer drugs

Author: CBS 60 Minutes (USA), Published on: 15 October 2014

"The Cost of Cancer Drugs", 5 Oct 2014

Cancer is so pervasive that it touches virtually every family in this country...And as anyone who's been through it knows, the shock and anxiety of the diagnosis is followed by a second jolt: the high price of cancer drugs. They are so astronomical that a growing number of patients can't afford their co-pay...This has led to a revolt against the drug companies led by some of the most prominent cancer doctors in the country... We're in a situation where a cancer diagnosis is one of the leading causes of personal bankruptcy...[Some cancer drugs are] priced at well over $100,000 a year...The drug companies say it costs over a billion dollars to bring a new drug to market, so the prices reflect the cost of innovation...Sanofi declined our request for an interview, but said in this email that they lowered the price of Zaltrap after listening "to early feedback from the oncology community and ... To ensure affordable choices for patients..."...When we asked Novartis why they tripled the price of Gleevec, they told us, "Gleevec has been a life-changing medicine ... When setting the prices of our medicines we consider ... the benefits they bring to patients ... The price of existing treatments and the investments needed to continue to innovate..."

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Related companies: Novartis Sanofi