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Thread: New Cure For Blindness Priced at $850,000

  1. #1
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    New Cure For Blindness Priced at $850,000



    A landmark gene therapy to treat a rare, inherited form of blindness will cost $850,000 — a price tag so daunting that its maker will offer health insurers partial rebates if the drug doesn't work and is seeking to pilot an installment payment option.

    The drug, called Luxturna, is the realization of a long-sought scientific dream: The one-time treatment corrects a faulty gene to improve vision, allowing patients to see the stars or their parents' faces.

    *Snip*

    The cost dilemma presented by gene therapies stems from the fact they are one-time treatments. Instead of addressing symptoms, they replace or restore the malfunctioning gene at the root of disease.

    *Snip*

    The treatment — and its price tag — challenge almost all the norms in the current drug distribution and payment system.

    Pharmaceutical companies typically can count on payments from a pill or injection that a patient might have to take repeatedly, sometimes over a lifetime. But Luxturna's treatment happens just once. And insurers may balk over a huge one-time bill, especially when the patient treated may not even be their customer next year, as people in the United States frequently change employers and health plans.

    And logistically, the price presents a barrier. Typically, hospitals buy the drugs they administer and mark up the prices. But instead of asking a hospital to make the outlay — and then count on insurers to pay a potentially significant markup on the drug price, Spark is assuming transit, storage and handling risks and is being paid directly by the insurer.

    *Snip*

    Although the treatment price is staggering, drugs for rare diseases typically carry large premiums because of the small patient populations — and Luxturna is a one-time therapy. Spinraza, a treatment for spinal muscular atrophy, costs $750,000 for its first year and $375,000 for subsequent years.

    *Snip*
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.769ccd0bdbf2

    We ALREADY paid for this drug, by allowing the most generous R & D costs deductions to Big Pharma of any industry in the US, and by paying for some portion of the needed research. NOBODY is contending this drug will cost $850,000 to produce. They aren't making it from rare truffles, or moon dust.

    This country MUST adopt universal health care -- I'm so angry about this drug's price, I can't even experience joy at the news that some blindness can be cured. What a bunch of greedy psychopaths run our pharmcuetical companies!

    Your thoughts?
    Last edited by Madeline; 4th January 2018 at 08:50 AM.
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    A one time treatment to cure a disease, vs constant treating for the life of the patient makes a difference. On a procedure that takes a lot of work to. Its not like making a bunch of pills and giving it to people. some of these gene therapy treatment is removing patient cells, treating those cells under sterile conditions, putting them back into the patient. If the disease is rare than that also effect pricing. If it cures people, how would companies make money off the many millions they spent developing it and undergoing clinical trials.

    But there is also the greed factor of any company and some companies making so much money and their CEOs getting ridiculous money. THere needs to be a balance between profit worthy of the great risk, but not excessive
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    Big Pharma OWNS many members of Congress.

    That is where the root of the problem is.

    America has the best politicians that money can buy.

    M O N E Y
    Thanks from Madeline, Friday13 and LT Greenbean

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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Sampson Simpson View Post
    A one time treatment to cure a disease, vs constant treating for the life of the patient makes a difference. On a procedure that takes a lot of work to. Its not like making a bunch of pills and giving it to people. some of these gene therapy treatment is removing patient cells, treating those cells under sterile conditions, putting them back into the patient. If the disease is rare than that also effect pricing. If it cures people, how would companies make money off the many millions they spent developing it and undergoing clinical trials.

    But there is also the greed factor of any company and some companies making so much money and their CEOs getting ridiculous money. THere needs to be a balance between profit worthy of the great risk, but not excessive
    I don't favor a for-profit pharmaceuticals industry. Science does not need a profit motive to advance. We should nationalize these companies right along with the health insurance companies, as we pass universal health care.

    But, if they do remain private, for-profit endeavors, there needs to be legislation that caps the level of profit they can extract, as well as the obscene levels of executive compensation they can pay.

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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miller47 View Post
    Big Pharma OWNS many members of Congress.

    That is where the root of the problem is.

    America has the best politicians that money can buy.

    M O N E Y
    This is true. It's easier to pass a gun control bill than it is to trim any drug off the Medicaid formulary (list of covered drugs), and the tax code should be renamed the Big Pharma Giveaway.

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    From the article:

    "It's not you paying for it; it's the insurance company, which means everyone, Sherman said.
    I guess socialism is ok if it's private sector socialism, and someone makes a profit.
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    Veteran Member Southern Dad's Avatar
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    This treatment is going to be sold in very limited quantities. This company went through all of the R & D to come up with this cure. They have had to spend a fortune on the regulatory hurdles to get their FDA clearances. There is no doubt that this should be a very expensive treatment. It cures blindness for one very, very small set of people. Only 1,000 - 2,000 people even have this particular disease. How many of the drug will be manufactured or sold? It's a one time treatment.

    I see nothing wrong with the drug or the price. Harvard Pilgrim, one insurer has agreed to cover the cost for patients covered by their insurance plans but here's the key... What are the odds that they even have a single patient that they cover that will need Luxturna?

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    the "good" prag pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post




    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.769ccd0bdbf2

    We ALREADY paid for this drug, by allowing the most generous R & D costs deductions to Big Pharma of any industry in the US, and by paying for some portion of the needed research. NOBODY is contending this drug will cost $850,000 to produce. They aren't making it from rare truffles, or moon dust.

    This country MUST adopt universal health care -- I'm so angry about this drug's price, I can't even experience joy at the news that some blindness can be cured. What a bunch of greedy psychopaths run our pharmaceutical companies!

    Your thoughts?
    Read the article in the paper this morning. One thing that stood out was that the potential audience for this treatment is very small.

    Get's dicey. How much was invested in the research/testing of the drug/treatment?? What expectation should there be for the company to get a return on their investment? If the corporation is prevented from making a profit, then they are not going to invest in finding the "next cure". On the other hand, if they are gouging desperate people then they should be held accountable for that action.


    Usually two sides to a story...
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    Veteran Member Southern Dad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pragmatic View Post
    Read the article in the paper this morning. One thing that stood out was that the potential audience for this treatment is very small.

    Get's dicey. How much was invested in the research/testing of the drug/treatment?? What expectation should there be for the company to get a return on their investment? If the corporation is prevented from making a profit, then they are not going to invest in finding the "next cure". On the other hand, if they are gouging desperate people then they should be held accountable for that action.


    Usually two sides to a story...
    Not just the research and development costs but there are tremendous costs involved with everything they have to go through to be allowed to sell it. The FDA doesn't have a streamlined and inexpensive process. There are legal costs all along the way. Then there will be marketings costs to educate the doctors who may have these rare patients. This company isn't going to sell very many of this drug.

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    Veteran Member TNVolunteer73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post




    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.769ccd0bdbf2

    We ALREADY paid for this drug, by allowing the most generous R & D costs deductions to Big Pharma of any industry in the US, and by paying for some portion of the needed research. NOBODY is contending this drug will cost $850,000 to produce. They aren't making it from rare truffles, or moon dust.

    This country MUST adopt universal health care -- I'm so angry about this drug's price, I can't even experience joy at the news that some blindness can be cured. What a bunch of greedy psychopaths run our pharmcuetical companies!

    Your thoughts?
    If we had Universal Healthcare this drug would not have been developed
    Thanks from Southern Dad and Sassy

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