• by bcarlson@marketresearch.com
  • July 25 2014
  • drug cost


Expensive Drugs: Only At First Glance

Expensive Drugs: Only At First Glance

We concur with a recent article by Peter J. Pitts, a former FDA associate commissioner ("Why ‘Pricey’ Drugs Save Money - and Lives," in the New York Post.  In that article Pitts argues against expensive new drugs as the culprit to rising US health-care costs. Pitts explains that pricey drugs can save money when used correctly.  Our Top 25 pharma company pipeline reportreport available on Kalorama’s website, demonstrates the type of therapies that top companies are working on currently.

He considers the case of Sovaldi, a Hepatitis C drug with a 90 percent cure rate, developed by Gilead Sciences, Inc. Some accuse Gilead of exploitative pricing, based on the drug’s high cost ($84,000 for a 3-month course of the drug). However, as one patient in three with Hepatitis C virus eventually develops liver cirrhosis, Sovaldi may prove the less expensive option, considering the potential $300,000 cost of a liver transplant.

In a similar vein, Kalorama Information’s Top 25 Pharmaceutical Company Pipeline Analysis and Sales Projections to 2023 recognizes that clinical trials of drugs such as Sovaldi require a considerable amount of resources - such that even if a product meets early safety and efficacy criteria, a company may be unable to take a product to market because of costs. Gilead Sciences, maker of Sovaldi, which spends 19% of company revenue on R&D, is profiled in the report, along with the other industry leaders.