Doctors Object to High Cancer-Drug Prices

Amid the growing clamor, cancer medication has drawn particular ire. The average price of new cancer drugs in the U.S. increased five- to tenfold over 15 years, to more than $100,000 a year in 2012, according to the Mayo Clinic journal editorial.

Some of the newest therapies, including those that harness a patient’s immune system to fight tumors, cost about $150,000 per patient a year. A top physician from Memorial Sloan Kettering recently warned that as doctors prescribe more cancer drugs for use in combination, the annual price could approach $300,000 per patient a year.

“What we’re fighting is the greed. The greed and the additional maneuvering that is being exercised after you’ve already recouped what you’ve invested. There is no control, no regulation,” Ayalew Tefferi, a hematologist at Mayo Clinic and the first signator on the new editorial, said in an interview.

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