"Even some patients with insurance are thinking hard before agreeing to treatment, doctors say, because out-of-pocket co-payments for the drug could easily run $10,000 to $20,000 a year.
Until now, drug makers have typically defended high prices by noting the cost of developing new medicines. But executives at Genentech and its majority owner, Roche, are now using a separate argument — citing the inherent value of life-sustaining therapies.
If society wants the benefits, they say, it must be ready to spend more for treatments like Avastin and another of the company's cancer drugs, Herceptin, which sells for $40,000 a year.
'As we look at Avastin and Herceptin pricing, right now the health economics hold up, and therefore I don't see any reason to be touching them,' said William M. Burns, the chief executive of Roche's pharmaceutical division and a member of Genentech's board. 'The pressure on society to use strong and good products is there.'"
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
the causal effect of economics
Today in the NYT: