KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Doctors Assail Drugmakers For $100K Cancer Medicines

More than 100 cancer specialists call for pharmaceutical companies to lower the prices of these drugs that patients need to live.

The New York Times: Doctors Denounce Cancer Drug Prices Of $100,000 A Year
With the cost of some lifesaving cancer drugs exceeding $100,000 a year, more than 100 influential cancer specialists from around the world have taken the unusual step of banding together in hopes of persuading some leading pharmaceutical companies to bring prices down (Pollack, 4/25).

Bloomberg: Cancer Therapy Cost Too High For Patients, Doctors Say
Cancer medicines that cost more than $100,000 a year aren't morally justifiable and may keep patients from getting life-saving treatments, a group of more than 100 leukemia doctors said. Of the 12 cancer medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration last year, 11 cost more than $100,000 annually, the physicians said in an article in Blood, the journal of the American Society of Hematology, published online. ... While companies should be allowed to profit, a product that can help a patient survive should be priced affordably, the cancer specialists wrote (Edney, 4/26).

CNN Money: Doctors Blast Ethics Of $100,000 Cancer Drugs
Should a life-saving drug that can be profitably sold for far less cost more than $100,000 per year? A group of more than 120 cancer researchers and physicians took the unusual step this week of publishing a research paper taking aim at pharmaceutical prices they see as exorbitant and unjustifiable. Drug companies are profiteering, the doctors say, by charging whatever the market will bear for medications that patients literally can't live without (Cowley, 4/25).

Oregonian: Top Oregon Health & Science University Researcher To Doctors: Rise Up Over Drug Prices
Brian Druker, a top researcher who heads the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University, joined more than 100 cancer specialists Thursday questioning the price of Gleevec, the groundbreaking cancer drug that made him famous. It can cost patients $100,000 a year. Druker wants the medical community to lead a broad movement that takes the fight for affordable life-saving drugs to Washington D.C. (Budnick, 4/25).

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