Poll: Which of These 10 New Drugs Is Priced Too High?
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a drug company charging a high price for a product when we know there’s at least a 60-80 percent chance the patient will get a meaningful benefit, based on solid genetic or molecular profiling. As the world comes to expect more of these “personalized” or “precision” medicines, companies are asking for trouble if they continue on with sky-high pricing of drugs that only have a one-in-four chance of helping a patient with some poorly defined diagnosis.
Given that there have been a number of important new drug approvals in the last year, and a quite a few with sky-high prices, I thought it would be interesting to poll our readers about which ones have gone too far. I know Xconomy readers are very sophisticated about these issues, as people who make a living in the drug development world. I realize this is an unscientific poll, but I’m still curious to see how many people in this pro-industry crowd think some of these new drug prices are too high.
So, below is a chart of 10 new and newsworthy drugs that have been approved by the FDA over the last year. I’ve sought to gather some basic facts—the drug name, disease, number of patients affected, and price. I’m not trying to condense the key clinical findings in table form, because that would take all day, but if you really want to look deeper, I’ve provided hyperlinks to the FDA-approved prescribing information for each product.
One last note: The free poll I’m using, from SurveyMonkey, only accepts votes from the first 100 responders. I’ll be sure to update with a comment when the final results are in. Happy voting!
|Hyperion Therapeutics||glycerol phenylbutyrate (Ravicti)||Urea cycle disorders||2,100 in U.S.||$250,000-$290,000/year based on patient’s weight|
|Sanofi’s Genzyme unit & Isis Pharmaceuticals||mipomersen (Kynamro)||Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia||6,000 worldwide||$175,000/year.|
|Sanofi & Regeneron Pharmaceuticals||ziv-afilbercept (Zaltrap)||Colorectal cancer||143,000 diagnosed in U.S. each year||Originally $11,000/month, but now available for 50% off after pressure from Memorial Sloan-Kettering physicians.|
|NPS Pharmaceuticals||teduglutide (Gattex)||Short Bowel Syndrome||15,000 in the U.S.||$295,000/year.|
|Vertex Pharmaceuticals||ivacaftor (Kalydeco)||Cystic fibrosis patients with G551d mutations||1,200 in the U.S.||$307,000/year.|
|Medivation & Astellas Pharma||enzalutamide (Xtandi)||Prostate cancer that has spread, following prior chemical castration treatment||29,270 expected to die of prostate cancer in U.S. this year||$7,450/month.|
|Ironwood Pharmaceuticals & Forest Laboratories||linaclotide (Linzess)||Irritable bowel syndrome with constipation, and chronic constipation||10 million adults in U.S. who see a physician 3 times/year for symptoms.||$220/month.|
|Onyx Pharmaceuticals||carfilzomib (Kyprolis)||Relapsed forms of multiple myeloma||10,710 patients expected to die from it in U.S. this year.||$9,950/month.|
|Ariad Pharmaceuticals||ponatinib (Iclusig)||Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia||2,500 patients in U.S. each year||$115,000/year.|
|Exelixis||cabozantinib (Cometriq)||Metastatic medullary thyroid cancer||500-700 in U.S., and about the same in Europe.||$9,900/month.|
|–Sources: Company reports, Xconomy reports, FDA, American Cancer Society, New York Times, TheStreet.com|
Now, for the polling part.
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