Thursday, October 08, 2015

NBC News doing reports on drug costs

On 7 October 2015, NBC Nightly News had a piece on drug pricing, which included the pricing of the Vertex drug Orkambi for cystic fibrosis:

Dr. Brian O'Sullivan, a cystic fibrosis specialist at University of Massachusetts Medical School, said there was no doubt these drugs could change the lives of his patients, most of whom have a life expectancy somewhere in their 40s.

"My first feeling was anger," he told NBC News. "To see a price like this was a kick in the gut. It was really hard to take. I knew it would be an expensive drug. I thought it was going to be 10,000 dollars a year, not 300,000 dollars a year."

Developing a drug is risky business that can cost more than a billion dollars. Both Orkambi and Kalydeco are made by Vertex, a Boston-based pharmaceutical firm, which did not respond to NBC News' request for an explanation of its prices.



Data on the MS drug Aubagio will be presented on October 10, 2015 at the 31st Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) in Barcelona, Spain.

Results to be presented include:

By month 12, median percent reduction from baseline in brain volume was 0.39, 0.40, and 0.61 for Aubagio 14 mg, 7 mg, and placebo, respectively. This change was lower for both Aubagio groups vs. placebo: 14 mg by 36.9 percent, p=0.0001; 7 mg by 34.4 percent, p=0.0011.

The significant difference in reduction of brain atrophy for Aubagio vs. placebo was maintained at month 24. Median percent reduction in brain volume from baseline was 0.90, 0.94, and 1.29 for Aubagio 14 mg, 7 mg, and placebo, respectively. This change was lower for both Aubagio groups vs. placebo: 14 mg by 30.6 percent, p=0.0001; 7 mg by 27.6 percent, p=0.0019.
Brain atrophy is the result of the destructive pathological processes that occur in MS. It is seen from the earliest stages of disease and leads to irreversible neurological and cognitive impairment.


CNN noted in the post -Promising new therapies have come out for multiple sclerosis, and they carry price tags that match.-

A recent analysis found that the cost of new oral MS drugs such as Aubagio has risen between 8% and 12% each year since they were approved by the FDA several years ago. And these new drugs may have paradoxically driven up the cost of older MS drugs, from about $8,000 to $11,000 in 1993 to $60,000 a year in 2015.




NBC News had done a report on Bard's IVC filter in September 2015.
See for example


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