The FDA has just approved one of the most expensive drugs in history…..and the price? $700,000
We are already fighting Big Pharma on the extreme pricing of drugs for people who need them. For example, Epi-pens, or Epinephrine, is an expensive drug that is used in as an emergency treatment of a severe allergic reaction. Often times, this is the difference in life or death. However, even the lowest priced, most common version of the pen is still $150 after insurance and coupons. Average retail of the pen is roughly $330.25. So, what happens when a person who needs it, can’t afford it?
Drug makers—especially those focusing on rare diseases—justify high list prices by arguing that it’s extremely difficult to discover groundbreaking treatments that affect just a sliver of the population. This makes the clinical trial process more cumbersome and the limited patient pool means there isn’t a huge market to sell to. Just consider the example of UniQure, whose $1 million-plus gene therapy is now being shelved because it barely had any sales at all in five years.
Now, BioMarin Pharmaceuticals has manufactured a new drug called Brineura, and it is for children who are battling a condition called CLN2. It is a form of Batten disease, and affect the nervous system. It can cause seizures, trouble coordinating muscles, and even vision loss.
BioMarin estimates that between 1,200 to 1,600 children across the globe have the condition — 85 percent of whom live outside the United States.
Though patients won’t actually have to pay that much money for the drug, it adds to the controversy surrounding high prices for rare disease drugs.
Brineaura isn’t even the most expensive drug on the market — that price goes to Horizon Pharma’s Ravicti, which is $793,632 per year.
It’s great, a miracle even, that they have created a drug that can help these people. I am sure it took a lot of time and effort to do so. However, what good does that do if it is too expensive for the families to afford? There needs to be some kind of balance in there.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com