Abraxane: This New Cancer Drug Costs More Than $4,200 Per DOSE
October 19, 2006
Abraxane, a new version of an old cancer drug, has made millions for the company that manufactures it. It doesn't help patients live any longer than the old treatment.
It does, however, cost $4,200 a dose.
Roughly 20,000 people have been treated with Abraxane, and this year's sales should approach $200 million.
Annual sales may reach $1 billion by 2010. The older version, Taxol, has similar effects, and costs 25 times less.
However, Abraxane has been marketed as a last-ditch drug for those who have not had success on other treatments, prompting many to try it in desperation despite the price.
Patients frequently want the newest and most expensive drugs and medical devices, and insurers rarely deny coverage for new treatments on the basis of price. As a result, the cost of health care coverage has been on the rise at a rapid pace. Cancer drugs in particular have undergone giant price increases. Worldwide, spending on cancer drugs is expected to hit $55 billion by 2009.
Taxol itself was initially considered expensive, and its price of $986 a dose led to Congressional hearings.