Cancer affects a whopping 39.6% of all men and women in the United States. And while doctors have made significant leaps forward as far as treatment goes, the sad reality is that many people won’t be able to afford some of the top medication available – all thanks to Big Pharma’s greed.
To see this in action, look no further than Lomustine. Lomustine is a drug cancer patients have been taking at home for more than 40 years. It treats a variety of cancer types, including melanomas and lymphomas.
According to The Wall Street Journal, a capsule of Lomustine cost roughly $50 in 2012. But things changed when a company called NextSource Biotechnology bought the rights to Lomustine in 2013.
Since then, the price of a single Lomustine capsule has risen to a whopping $768. That’s a 1,400% spike.
Speaking with The Independent, Duke University neuro-oncologist Henry Friedman stated, “this is simply price gouging. People are not going to be able to afford it, or they’re going to pay a lot of money and have financial liability.”
It’s not just cancer drugs that have seen a ridiculous price hike either; in 2017, West-Ward Pharmaceuticals raised the price of six medications used to treat everything from inflammation to diarrhea, heart failure and bipolar disorder.
The prices of the drugs all climbed between 75% and 430%.
What makes this all the more disturbing is the FDA’s insistence on squashing companies that aim to provide natural cancer treatments.
Last year, CNN reported that the FDA sent out warning letters to 14 companies who advertise their products as able to treat cancer in some way or another.
At the time, FDA Office of Enforcement director Douglas W. Stearn claimed that the clampdown was carried out, in part, because such products might prevent people from seeking more “appropriate” treatment.
The argument was the same as before; such companies are being cruel towards cancer patients and should therefore be pinched.
No word yet on when the FDA will use that same logic to clamp down on drug companies that unfairly raise the prices of so-called “appropriate” medications.