Doctors and hospitals are standing up against the pharmaceutical companies over the massive increase of cancer drug prices, reported CBS News. Big Pharma’s greed has made important medications too expensive for terminally-ill patients to afford.
Worldwide pharmaceutical spending topped $100 billion last year, an increase of 10.3 percent in the last five years. The compound annual growth rate increased to 6.5 percent in that timeframe. The Mayo Clinic Proceedings published an editorial signed by 128 oncologists who lament the high cost of essential cancer drugs. They called for a much-needed overhaul of the drug market.
In response to drug price inflation, doctors said Medicare should be allowed to negotiate drug prices with the pharmaceutical companies. They want to allow patients the option of purchasing drugs from lower-cost countries, and they called for the reform of current patent laws that allow name-brand pharmaceutical companies to delay patients’ access to low-cost generic drugs.
“Drug companies, insurance companies, pharmaceutical distributors, many hospitals and physicians, and perhaps some patient advocacy groups can be financially conflicted when it comes to discussing rational drug prices,” the Mayo Clinic Proceedings article said. “The individuals most harmed and least engaged in these discussions are cancer patients because they are exhausting their energy, resources, and time fighting for their lives.”
For too long, Big Pharma has allowed thousands of cancer patients to die because of expensive drug prices. Similar to the fossil fuel and tobacco industries, Big Pharma is concerned primarily with profits. Human life is a very distant second.