KEY TAKEAWAY: A report found that 27 percent of cancer survivors or close relatives of a cancer patient said they’d skipped doctor visits or taken other steps to reduce health costs. Yet, according to Fierce Pharma “defying critics in Congress and elsewhere, Celgene hiked the list prices of key cancer meds Revlimid and Pomalyst by 9% this month, taking their cumulative increases for the year to nearly double the range that many Big Pharma peers have pledged to avoid”.
How do the employees and executives at Celgene sleep at night? So far this year, Celgene has raised the price of Revlimid three times, taking the drug’s list price up 19.8% year to date, according to a note from SunTrust analyst Yatin Suneja. The drugmaker hauled in nearly $7 billion around the world last year with the med that treats multiple myeloma, mantle cell lymphoma and myelodysplastic syndromes.
Meanwhile, to save money, nearly one in 10 cancer patients said they had avoided doctor appointments. Eight percent had refused treatment; postponed filling or not filled prescriptions; or skipped doses of prescribed medications. And 7 percent said they had cut pills in half, according to the survey of more than 4,000 adults.
Let’s be honest here. Celgene’s move is strictly about profits and Wall Street. Pharma companies have become so big that they need price increases in lieu of innovation just to breathe. Cancer medications are extremely profitable because insurers are not going to deny coverage to cancer patients and big pharma knows this.
Celgene joins Gilead as everything that is wrong with big pharma and continues to use the tired line about patient benefits in justifying costs. …