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    Group Of Experts Looks At High Price Of Cancer Drugs

    Published on 17 June 2013 @ 7:41 pm

    Intellectual Property Watch

    By Brittany Ngo for Intellectual Property Watch

    Prices of cancer drugs must be lowered to be affordable for patients and to maintain sound long-term healthcare policies, according to a group of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) experts in a recent Blood journal editorial.

    The authors of this editorial collaborated to bring attention to the high prices of cancer drugs by addressing various factors involved in cancer drug pricing and their impact on individual patients and healthcare policies, with a focus on the prices of tyrosine kinase inhibitors for CML treatment.

    In the editorial [pdf], the group of more than 100 experts argued that the current prices of CML drugs are “too high, unsustainable, may compromise access of needy patients to highly effective therapy, and are harmful to the sustainability of our national healthcare systems.”

    Imatinib, a CML treatment that has been on the market for over a decade and originally developed as a “goodwill gesture” by Novartis, is one of the most successful cancer therapies.

    The drug set the bar high for the cost of cancer drugs, boasting annual revenues of approximately $4.7 billion in 2012. Initially priced at nearly $30,000 per year when imatinib was released in 2001, the cost of the drug increased to $92,000 in 2012, despite the fact that all research costs were accounted for in the original proposed price.

    The US patent expiration date of imatinib was set for 28 May 2013, but was later extended to January 2015 by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

    Three new CML drugs were approved by the FDA in 2012, but are priced at “astronomical levels,” the authors said: ponatinib at $138,000 per year, omacetaxine at $28,000 for induction and $14,000 per maintenance course, and bosutinib at about $118,000 per year.

    The group of experts took the view that innovation and discoveries should be rewarded, especially given the huge financial investments that go into drug research and development (R&D). But they also noted that drug prices often reflect geopolitical and socioeconomics dynamics unrelated to the cost of drug development. Citing the US as an example, the authors said US prices reflect a “free market economy” and the notion that “one cannot put a price on a human life,” as well as a failure of government and insurers to more actively negotiate pricing for anti-cancer and other pharmaceuticals.

    Brittany Ngo is currently completing her Master’s in Health Policy and Global Health at the Yale School of Public Health and previously obtained a Bachelor’s of Arts in Economics from Georgetown University. Through her studies she has developed an interest in health-related intellectual property issues. She is a summer intern at Intellectual Property Watch.

     

     


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    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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