Friday, July 01, 2011

Follow up on earlier post

I found an interesting conjunction of two health stories on Google News this morning (screenshot below). You're sure to remember a previous post of mine, from last June, muttering about the cost of the breast-cancer drug Avastin. It costs, at wholesale, about $90,000 for a treatment. The company isn't able to demonstrate longer life expectancy, only increased hope from taking the drug, which does, in fact, shrink tumors. There's a form to fill out, and if the patient demonstrates less than $75,000 income, they drop the price ("cap the annual spending") down to around $57,000.They were reviewed in the last year by the FDA and found to be legit, a.k.a. safe & effective. The government avoided putting a price on hope.

In the interest of balancing the gender gap here, another pharmaceutical company has come up with a spanking new drug with a very masculine name, Provenge, to treat "untreatable" prostate cancer. This baby offers probably more "hope" than Avastin, and does it for men. And amazingly, it's more expensive. Provenge costs $93,000 for a treatment. And Medicare takes care of it. One great thing about Provenge is that a higher percentage of men will acquire prostate cancer than women will suffer breast cancer. Ka-ching! And they don't have those wussy income statements, they're not discounting the drug.

screenshot of customized Google News this AM, 7/1/2011

Again we have a handy transfusion at the end of life of a nice big chunk of the stricken patient's assets. And when the government pays for it, why it's transfusing the citizen's pre-entitled future benefits right into the corporate coffers of big pharma as well.

I, for one, am relieved this gross gender disparity has been settled, finally. Hope is equally expensive for men and women. Mutter, mutter, mutter.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, but women are not as valuable as men; pay disparity, no right tho choose what to use her uterus for, Christians and other religious expect women to be responsible for morality of men [if you dress certain ways you're "asking" to be raped], yada yada!