Cancer researchers are touting the most significant progress in cancer treatment in years-combinations of drugs and a breakthrough using drugs which marshall the body’s own immune system to battle cancer. However, the combined cost of the multiple drugs is staggering. For example Merck & Co’s drug Keytruda and Bristol Myers Squibb’s Opdivo are being tried together but each drug costs more than $12,500 per month for a total of $25,000 or $300,000 per year. Last year, the FDa approved the first immunotherapy combination, Bristol-Myers Opdivo and Yervoy to treat melanoma. It cost a patient more than $250,000 for one full year of treatment.
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, some companies are talking about working together to give a group discount on combination drug regimens. Insurers are pushing for this and some in Congress are talking about creating new laws to prevent price gouging.
Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.