The recent call by US oncologists for patients to demand reductions in the price new drugs has prompted an interesting article at 'The Conversation', which includes some rather stunning examples of huge price variations for the same new drug, depending on how the drug is approved for use and what competition is available. Price escalations for even well established cancer drugs can be hard to explain. "In 2013, for example, group of experts in chronic myeloid leukemia described how the price of imatinib (Gleevec) increased three-fold over a decade. This happened even though all research and development costs were accounted for in the original price, and the number of people using the drug was dramatically increasing."
University of Sydney academics Narcyz Ghinea, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine, Ian Kerridge, Associate Professor in Bioethics & Director, Centre for Values and Ethics and the Law in Medicine and Wendy Lipworth. Senior Research Fellow, Bioethics explain a bit about how drug prices are determined in the USA, UK and even South Korea and how huge price differences for the same drug eventuated:
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