Big Pharma slammed by doctors for reckless drug costs

A group of 118 doctors has issued a proposal pleading with pharmaceutical firms to lower the prices of certain cancer drugs, expanding access to patients who need them.

A group of 118 top cancer doctors recently published an article calling on pharmaceutical companies to lower the price of their cancer drugs, which are starting to wreak financial havoc on patients across the country. According to a report from NOLA.com, the average price for cancer drugs has jumped by $8,500 on average over the last 15 years.

According to head author Dr. Ayalew Tefferi, a Mayo Clinic hematologist, high drug prices affect not only the health of the patients who need them, but the overall healthcare system as well. On average, households in the U.S. make about $52,000 per year. Even with insurance, a drug that costs $120.000 per year, will leave patients on the hook for as much as $25,000 to $30,000. That’s more than half of the average annual income for an American household.

The doctors proposed legislation that would allow Medicare to negotiate prices directly with pharmaceutical companies, driving down prices for patients.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturing Association rejected the arguments presented by the doctors, countering that the drugs in question only make up one-fifth of the total amount spent on treating cancer in the U.S. They argue that a policy that drives down drug prices would stifle innovation and progress in cancer research.

With families giving up half their income for certain cancer drugs, it’s no wonder why some doctors would speak out against the outrageous pricing. Drug companies will probably try to oppose any legislation that would affect the price of drugs, even though expanding access to these medications would potentially save countless lives.

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