Grand Theft Cancer
A Cancer Drug's Big Price Rise Disturbs Doctors and Patients
On Feb. 3, Joyce Elkins filled a prescription for a two-week supply of nitrogen mustard, a decades-old cancer drug used to treat a rare form of lymphoma. The cost was $77.50.
On Feb. 17, Ms. Elkins, a 64-year-old retiree who lives in Georgetown, Tex., returned to her pharmacy for a refill. This time, following a huge increase in the wholesale price of the drug, the cost was $548.01.
Last August, Merck, which makes Mustargen, sold the rights to manufacture and market it and Cosmegen, another cancer drug, to Ovation Pharmaceuticals (...) Now Ovation has raised the wholesale price of Mustargen roughly tenfold and that of Cosmegen even more, according to several pharmacists and patients.
Given that these patients are likely to die, I think it is very noble of the drug companies to extract every last penny. As everybody knows, you can't take it with you.
So raise a glass to the petro-industrial-pharmaceutical cabal.
They have the best of intentions.