The enormous cost of drugs has always been justified by drug companies who say that the costs of research and development and obtaining FDA approval were very high and that companies needed a profit incentive to search for new drugs. Now there is a new rationale for high drug prices – just because we can.
In a New York Times article of September 21, 2015, it is reported that the cost of Daraprim, a 62-year-old drug used to treat parasitic infection, has been raised from $13.50 per tablet to $750 per tablet. The price of Cycloserine, used to treat tuberculosis, has been raised from $500 for 30 pills to $10,800 for 30 pills. Doxycycline, an antibiotic, has gone from $20 per bottle to $1,849 per bottle. The price of two heart drugs, Isuprel and Nitropress, have been raised by 525% and 212%.
According to the article, what all these drugs have in common is that they were acquired by venture capitalists who saw an opportunity to take financial advantage.
Call me crazy, but there are often times that cutthroat capitalism and healthcare don’t seem to mix.