Cancer Drug, Drug To Prevent Preterm Births Cause Cost Concerns
News outlets report on the political dilemma involved with Provenge - a cancer drug - as well as the impact that Makena - the medicine that can prevent preterm births - could have on the nation's high health care costs.
The Washington Post: Critics Slam Cost Of FDA-Approved Drug To Prevent Preterm Births
The list price for the drug, Makena, turned out to be a stunning $1,500 per dose. That's for a drug that must be injected every week for about 20 weeks, meaning it will cost about $30,000 per at-risk pregnancy. If every eligible American woman were to get Makena, the nation's bloated annual health care tab would swell by more than $4 billion (Stein, 3/28).
Politico: Drug Poses Political Dilemma
If anything is too expensive for Medicare, it just might be a prostate cancer therapy that costs $93,000 and gives men, on average, an extra four months to live. But then again, maybe that's not where the program will draw the line. The decision is due March 30, when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is set to rule on whether Medicare will pay for Provenge, an immunotherapy drug that drew special scrutiny from the agency and could cause political headaches whichever way the decision goes (Nather, 3/29).