Rochester, NY (PRWEB) October 28, 2013
The CBCD believes there is a direct relationship between the lack of new, safe and effective drugs, a situation known as ‘The Productivity Crisis in Pharmaceutical R&D,’ and high drug prices.
For example, a study published in March of 2012 on Nature.com found that “The number of new drugs approved per billion US dollars spent on R&D by the pharmaceutical industry fell by half roughly every 9 years since 1950 (2). The financial markets term this situation an, 'empty pipeline.' ”
Along with an empty pipeline, “many drug companies are facing patent expiration for their top-selling products and could see dwindling revenues after years of lackluster research productivity (1).” In fact, most of the drugs approved by the FDA in 2012, “either treated rare diseases like cystic fibrosis or were marginal improvements over existing cancer drugs. All carried extremely high price tags (1).”
Because of empty R&D pipelines and dwindling revenues, the drug companies are raising and setting prices “according to what the market will bear, and the parties who actually pay the drug companies will meet whatever price is charged for an effective drug to which there is no alternative (1).” In other words, drug companies can raise drug prices to outrageous sums because they believe that someone will pay, and because no one is offering a better solution.
A case in point was the release of Sanofi Pharmaceutical’s anti-cancer drug, ‘Zaltrap.’ “Zaltrap was approved to treat colorectal cancer. The drug was discovered by Regeneron, an emerging biopharmaceutical company like Vertex, but sold by the French drug maker Sanofi. Though it worked no better in clinical trials than Roche’s cancer drug Avastin, which itself adds only 1.4 months to life expectancy for patients with advanced colorectal cancer, Sanofi priced Zaltrap at $11,000 a month, or twice Avastin’s price (1)
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