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Life Extension Magazine

Life Extension Magazine April 2014
As We See It  

“Unsustainable” Cancer Drug Prices

By William Faloon

Not The First Time For Novartis

This is not the first time Novartis has been accused of paying doctors kickbacks to prescribe drugs that are often overpriced compared to generics, and therefore defraud government programs like Medicare and Medicaid.44,45

In 2010, the same unit of Novartis pled guilty to misdemeanor violations and paid $422.5 million to settle civil and criminal charges that it illegally marketed certain pharmaceutical products and paid doctors kickbacks to prescribe it.44

Novartis denies the charges that it illegally paid kickbacks to doctors in the current civil-fraud lawsuit.45

Outlandish Cost Of Cancer Drugs
Outlandish Cost Of Cancer Drugs

Pharmaceutical companies know that Medicare, Medicaid, and many insurance companies pay unlimited amounts of money for their drugs.

What few consumers realize is that they are bearing the cost of these over-priced drugs in the form of higher insurance premiums, higher deductibles, higher co-pays, more exclusions, higher taxes, and higher interest costs on the national debt as government programs pay these outlandish prices. Pharmaceutical companies price gouge the public by charging the obscene prices you see below:

Brand Name

Generic Name

Type of Cancer

Cost of Drugs

Avastin ®

(bevacizumab)

Breast Cancer
Colon

$100,00011,
$55,000 (2004)12 $85,000 (2011)13

Avastin ®

(bevacizumab)

Brain Cancer that recurred

$43,00014

Iclusig ®

(ponatinib)

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)

$138,00015

Bosulif ®

(bosutinib)

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)

$118,00015

Gleevec ®

(imatinib)

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)

$30,000 (2001) $92,000 (2012)15

Erbitux ®

(cetuximab)

Colon Cancer, Lung Cancer

$80,00016

Cometriq ®

(cabozantinib)

Thyroid Cancer

$99,00017

Erivedge ®

(vismodegib®)

Skin Cancer

$75,00018

Herceptin ®

(trastuzumab)

Breast Cancer

$70,00019

Camptosar ®

(irinotecan)

Stage IV Colon Cancer

$44,08720

Eloxatin ®

(oxaliplatin)

Stage IV Colon Cancer

$60,17920

Synribo ®

(omacetaxine)

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)

$28,000 for induction and
$14,000 for a maintenance course15

Kadcyla ®

(ado-trastuzumabemtansine )

Breast Cancer

$94,00021

Nexavar ®

(sorafenib)

Liver Cancer
Kidney Cancer

$80,00022
$96,00022

Perjeta ®

(pertuzumab)

Breast Cancer

$106,20023 (based on 18-month course of treatment)

Provenge ®

(sipuleucel-T)

prostate Cancer

$93,00024

Proleukin ®

(aldesleukin)

Kidney Cancer,
Metastatic Melanoma

Up to $3,925 per dose, $109,900 per course based on 28 doses, $549,500 per year based on 5 courses25, 26

Sutent ®

(sunitinib malate)

Kidney, pancreatic and GI Cancer

$48,72027

Tarceva ®

(erlotinib)

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer $31,00028

$31,00028

Xalkori ®

(crizotinib)

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

$115,00029

Xgeva ®

(denosumab)

Metastasis to Bones

$6,60030

Xtandi ®

(enzalutamide)

prostate Cancer (metastatic castration-resistant -mCrpC)

$59,60031

Votrient ®

(pazopanib)

Kidney Cancer
Sarcomas33 (2012)

$93,00032 (based on 800 mg per day)

Yervoy ®

(ipilimumab)

Melanoma

about $116,00034 (about $29,000 per infusion, 4 needed)

Zelboraf ®

(vemurafenib)

Metastatic Melanoma

$112,80035 (2012) $60,00029 (2011)

Zytiga ®

(abiraterone)

Prostate Cancer
(castration-resistant -CrpC)

$60,00036

A Broken System!

A Broken System!  

The magnitude of pharmaceutical company malfeasance is incomprehensible to the lay public.

Consumers know healthcare costs are rising, yet cures for most killer diseases remain elusive.

New cancer drugs that add only a few agonizing months of survival are laden with such severe side effects that many patients reject them altogether. Some cancer patients say no to these over-priced drugs to spare their families insolvency.

Pharmaceutical companies today seek to gain FDA approval of patented drugs that may temporarily shrink tumor volume, but don’t always meaningfully improve patient survival.

The leukemia drugs described in this article are the exception when it comes to long-term efficacy and relative safety.5,6

Richard Nixon declared war on cancer in 1971.46 Hundreds of billions of dollars of federal funds have been spent on research. Cancer patients survive longer today, but missing are the miracle cures envisioned 43 years ago.

Long-term side effects from radiation or chemotherapy cause deaths from stroke, heart failure, or immune impairment. These cancer therapy-induced deaths are not “counted” in the cancer statistics, thus enabling the cancer establishment to pretend they are making more progress than they really are.47

Our “Different” Approach To Cancer Treatment

We at Life Extension fund clinical cancer research aimed at discovering if protocols that involve dozens of drugs, nutrients, and other therapies can produce long-term complete responses, i.e. cures.

We have spent millions of dollars testing a wide array of “other” companies’ therapies in unique combinations to see if we can attain remissions or complete responses. Our clinical successes in some cases are unprecedented, yet we don’t own the intellectual property (i.e. the drugs) that enables these successes to occur.

Instead, we publish the results of our research in books like Disease Prevention and Treatment, on our website, or disseminate to our members through our health advisory staff.

We never use placebos in cancer patients as we believe this to be genocide. All cancer patients who enter our clinical trials receive therapies that are intended to cure (or mitigate) their underlying malignancy. Life Extension does not believe any human being should be treated as an experimental lab animal.

Your support of our cancer research initiatives is made possible through your membership dues, contributions, and supplement purchases.

For longer life,

For Longer Life

William Faloon

References

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