Issue Date: April 24, 2017
More on drug pricing
C&EN has previously reported on a Roche/Genentech drug called Kadcyla (ado-trastuzumab emtansine) but has not given specifics on pricing. The recent article by Rick Mullin entitled “Pushback” also relates to drug pricing (C&EN, Feb. 27, page 30 ). Again few specifics were offered, hence this letter.
A member of my family is battling breast cancer of the HER2+ type and is receiving infusions of Kadcyla, post taxane treatments. These infusions are every third week, and 100 mg of the drug costs $28,500! This is without the charges for the infusion itself. Contrary to the media ads about “cures” from some cancer centers and drug companies, the oncologists administering this drug do not speak of cure or even remission. However, they intend to use it as long as it is effective. At this price, a year’s treatment will cost nearly a half-million dollars.
Small wonder that such prices produce an outraged response. At this price our greatest fear, in addition to the cancer itself, is that the insurance will be lost or will stop payments due to the extraordinary cost.
Name withheld upon request
April 17, page 5: In the science news story about using photoluminescent lanthanide materials to distinguish among solvents, the family name of a Nankai University chemistry professor was misspelled. His name is Peng Cheng.
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