A Price Tag On Hope: As Pharma Companies Eye Right To Try, Profit Motives Overtake Any Expected Altruism
“Companies cannot be NGOs,” Brainstorm CEO Chaim Lebovits said. “We have to have an incentive.” Health insurers don’t typically pay for treatments that haven’t been approved by regulators or proven to work in clinical trials. That means patients would have to pay for the therapies, which could reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, out of their own pockets.
The ‘Right To Try’ Could Cost Dying Patients A Fortune
A small biotechnology company may be the first to offer dying patients unproven drugs under a new U.S. law called Right to Try that deregulated access to such experimental treatments. But it won’t be for free: Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. would charge for a therapy it is developing for the deadly condition known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. While details are still being worked out, the company’s chief executive officer pointed to the price of bespoke cell therapies used to treat cancer that cost more than $300,000. (Cortez, 6/20)
In other pharmaceutical news —
Number Of Drug Makers Lobbying Congress On Pricing Issues Skyrockets
It’s no secret that the pharmaceutical industry has spent record-setting sums on lobbying in recent years. But much of that increase, according to a new report from a watchdog group here, is specific to the issue of drug pricing, which has taken hold as a top-tier policy issue on Capitol Hill. The number of companies that cited “drug pricing” or variations on the phrase in disclosure documents has more than quadrupled in the last five years, according to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonprofit focused on government ethics issues. (Facher, 6/20)