Rich pharma companies, poor patients.

Pharmaceutical companies are getting rich on the backs of their patients. Don't believe me? Here's some proof.First we have an article from New Jersey on how Roche's profits are up 10% and its revenues are up 4% on profits from its breast cancer drugs. The company is now focusing on cancer drugs and hopes to find more high profit drugs as generics come available for drugs such as Herceptin.  By the way, their cancer drugs cost between $70,000 and $100,000+ annually per patient.If you ask a pharma company you get the standard lines: 'no one pays those prices', 'they are covered by insurance', 'we do have programs for those who are uninsured to help with the costs'.But my point is why are they pricing them so high in the first place? List prices do not reflect costs, they usually reflect positioning. A price tag of $90,000/year reflects exclusivity. 'It must be good if it costs so much.'Do you see the problem here? As other pharmaceutical companies, Roche is supposedly pricing its drugs so high to compensate for their high research and development costs. But look how profitable they are. This is a graph of their 2012 sales from their website:And then here are are the sales from individual products: (These numbers are in billions (with a b, not an m) Swiss francs which are currently worth $0.93.) Paltry profits of $16 billion on sales of $44 billion? That's pretty damn profitable if you ask me. Mabthera is an RA drug, Herceptin, Tarceva, Avastin, Xeloda are for cancer, Pega...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - Category: Cancer Tags: patient rights medication costs Source Type: blogs

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Purpose: Viral hepatitis can cause significant morbidity and mortality in patients receiving chemotherapy. London cancer guidelines recommend universal pretreatment screening for hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV). HIV-infected patients are at higher risk of developing AIDS-defining and non-AIDS-defining cancers. HIV testing for all oncology patients has been recommended. Studies reveal up to 30% of breast cancer patients may have undiagnosed diabetes [1]. Oncology patients with diabetes have an increased risk of complications: chemotherapy toxicities, steroid-induced hyperglycaemia and sepsis.
Source: Clinical Oncology - Category: Radiology Authors: Source Type: research
Discussion MDSCs violently emerge in pathological conditions in an attempt to limit potentially harmful immune and inflammatory responses. Mechanisms supporting their expansion and survival are deeply investigated in cancer, in the perspective to reactivate specific antitumor responses and prevent their contribution to disease evolution. These findings will likely contribute to improve the targeting of MDSCs in anticancer immunotherapies, either alone or in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors. New evidence indicates that the expansion of myeloid cell differentiation in pathology is subject to fine-tuning, as its...
Source: Frontiers in Immunology - Category: Allergy & Immunology Source Type: research
Gulcin Tezcan1, Ekaterina V. Martynova1, Zarema E. Gilazieva1, Alan McIntyre2, Albert A. Rizvanov1 and Svetlana F. Khaiboullina1,3* 1Institute of Fundamental Medicine and Biology, Kazan Federal University, Kazan, Russia 2Centre for Cancer Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom 3Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, NV, United States Inflammation has a crucial role in protection against various pathogens. The inflammasome is an intracellular multiprotein signaling complex that is linked to pathogen sensing and...
Source: Frontiers in Pharmacology - Category: Drugs & Pharmacology Source Type: research
Hui Tang1, Tao Zeng1* and Luonan Chen1,2,3,4* 1Key Laboratory of Systems Biology, CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Cell Science, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China 2CAS Center for Excellence in Animal Evolution and Genetics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, China 3School of Life Science and Technology, ShanghaiTech University, Shanghai, China 4Shanghai Research Center for Brain Science and Brain-Inspired Intelligence, Shanghai, China Quantifying or labeling th...
Source: Frontiers in Genetics - Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research
Follow me on Twitter @RobShmerling Let us sing the praises of good medical screening tests. These are the tests that can detect medical problems before they become untreatable and before they cause complications or even death. Even better are those screening tests that detect “predisease” — abnormalities that aren’t dangerous on their own but can lead to problems later. According to the US Preventive Services Task Force, relatively few screening tests are considered good enough to routinely recommend for adults, including mammography for breast cancer (women) Pap smear for cervical cancer (women) b...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Cancer Health Prevention Screening Source Type: blogs
Excerpted fromPrecision Medicine and the Reinvention of Human DiseaseDespite having the most advanced healthcare technology on the planet, life expectancy in the United States is not particularly high. Citizens from most of the European countries and the highly industrialized Asian countries enjoy longer life expectancies than the United States. According to the World Health Organization, the United States ranks 31st among nations, trailing behind Greece, Chile, and Costa Rica, and barely edging out Cuba [42]. Similar rankings are reported by the US Central Intelligence Agency [43]. These findings lead us to infer that acc...
Source: Specified Life - Category: Information Technology Tags: cancer cancer vaccines precision medicine prevention public health Source Type: blogs
April 21 Update: New Aid For State Formulary Review At REGTAP On April 17, 2017, CMS announced that it would be turning the job of drug formulary review for qualified health plans over to state regulators in the thirteen HealthCare.gov states that have plan management responsibility.  On April 19, CMS offered at its REGTAP.info website (registration required) a seminar on the qualified health plan (QHP) application review tools for prescription drugs that the states may use for these reviews. The EHB Category and Class Drug Count Tool, which is new for the 2018 QHP review period, reviews drug lists to ensure that QHPs...
Source: Health Affairs Blog - Category: Health Management Authors: Tags: Costs and Spending Featured Following the ACA Insurance and Coverage Source Type: blogs
Editor’s note: The final 2018 Letter To Issuers In The Federally Facilitated Maketplaces, discussed below, was issued in conjunction with the final 2018 Benefit and Payment Parameters rule, discussed here and here. On December 16, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its final 2018 Letter to Issuers in the Federally Facilitated Marketplaces (FFM). CMS releases a letter each year to insurers that offer coverage through the FFM or through state-based marketplaces that use the Healthcare.gov platform (SBM-FP), laying out the ground ...
Source: Health Affairs Blog - Category: Health Management Authors: Tags: Following the ACA Insurance and Coverage Payment Policy Source Type: blogs
Bundled payment initiatives are a growing form of value-based payment. The use of bundled payments can align reimbursement with the health care triple aim of improving experience of care, improving population health, and reducing total costs of care. Successful bundled payment initiatives have demonstrated an ability to both lower costs and improve health care quality. However, bundled payments also change financial incentives because the model shifts risk from payers to providers. This may result in unintended consequences, including underutilization of needed but costly services or avoiding caring for the sickest patient...
Source: Health Affairs Blog - Category: Health Management Authors: Tags: Costs and Spending Featured Insurance and Coverage Medicare Payment Policy Population Health Quality Bundled Payments chronic disease High-Cost Patients triple aim Source Type: blogs
Implementing Health Reform (March 3 update). On March 3, 2016, the Office of the HHS Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) announced that the ACA has resulted in gains in health insurance coverage of 20 million adults through February 22, 2016. This includes 2.3 million young adults who gained coverage under the ACA provision allowing young adults to remain on their parents’ coverage through age 26, and 17.7 million non-elderly adults who have gained coverage between the beginning of open enrollment in October 2013 and the present. The report shows continued progress since ASPE released its last...
Source: Health Affairs Blog - Category: Health Management Authors: Tags: Following the ACA Insurance and Coverage Alaska Medicaid expansion QHPs Supreme Court Source Type: blogs
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