According to an independent academic study, Americans are paying way over the odds for some modern cancer drugs. Pharmaceutical companies are charging up to 600 times what the medicines cost to make.
The United States statistically pays more than double the price charged in Europe for tyrosine kinase inhibitors, which are a potent class of cancer pills with fewer side effects than chemotherapy.
They study was conducted by a pharmacologist Andrew Hill of Britain’s University of Liverpool. The study will be present his findings at the European Cancer Congress in Vienna. Experts believe that the presentation will fuel a growing storm over U.S. drug costs.
Andrew Hill has shared his work on the cost of producing tyrosine kinase inhibitors with the World Health Organization. The World Health Organization is interested in adding such treatments to its lists of medicines deemed essential for a basic healthcare system. World Health Organization officials have used the findings to determine that the drugs can be made at low cost.
Tyrosine kinase inhibitors are anticipated to be available as generics within the next five years, as patents expire It is estimated that large-scale production decrease the range of prices. Currently U.S. prices are around $75,000 to over $100,000, the estimated new range will be $159 to $4,022.
Drug companies assert that they need to make decent profits to pay for the billions of dollars needed for drug research. Companies additionally have extensive low-cost or even free access schemes for patients who cannot afford their medicines.
However, the outrageous prices charged for modern drugs are generating an exorbitant amount of push-back from healthcare providers, patients and some doctors.
The study used Indian government data on the cost of pharmaceutical ingredients and allowed for a 50% profit margin to work out the costs of producing certain drugs.
This basis allowed for the discovery that Novartis’ leukemia drug Glivec actually cost $159 for a year’s treatment compared to the $106,000 charged in the United States.
The future pricing of tyrosine kinase inhibitors could also have huge implications for developing countries due to the mass production which could open the way to widespread cancer treatment in the same way that cheap generic drugs heled fight HIV/AIDS.