Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Obamacare Killer? Global spending on cancer drugs surges to $100 Billion

According to FT, Merck & Co, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Roche and AstraZeneca are among those developing so-called cancer immunotherapies that harness the body’s immune system to fight tumours.

The earliest of these have been launched in the US in recent months at prices amounting to about $150,000 a year.

The expected surge of expensive new cancer drugs has raised questions over their affordability for healthcare systems already struggling with the rising cost of caring for an ageing world population, says FT. No kidding.

So what are the Obamacare rulers going to do: raise rates to cover these treatments or deny the treatments?

With government as the defacto decider on coverage or the actual payer, pharmaceutical companies have no incentive to respond to market pressures to lower prices over time, like  we see occur with other products, laptops, big screen TV's etc,

Instead, the incentive is for firms in the pharmaceutical industry to hire lobbyists to protect use and prices. Ultimately what happens under these conditions is that prices stay very high, the system moves toward financial collapse and fewer are given the opportunity to receive proper treatment.

-- RW


  1. One of the powerful benefits of voluntary exchange with a non-coercive price discovery process is that it harnesses the knowledge embedded in the market so constructed. Known as a free market, the larger the free market the more likely effective satisfactions of needs will be discovered. Conversely, the smaller the free market the less likely an effective solution to needs will be found. With so much coercive funding and regulation for drug development in the current pharmaceutical industry it is highly unlikely that a truly widely effective drug will be found to meet the needs of the marketplace. Proper treatment is likely to be found elsewhere and Obamacare denial or approval of treatment may be meaningless.

  2. PPACA Shafts Seniors, but Helps Corporations

    Employers have significantly cut many of the benefits they offer to workers over the past five years. "The two biggest areas where cuts have come have been in health care and retirement because that's where costs have increased the most."

    The time frame covered is 2006 to 2015. Over this decade private equity underwriters became as common as cockroaches. President Obama's health reformer, PEU Nancy-Ann DeParle, designed a program that shifts the burden for health insurance from employers to individuals and a tapped out Uncle Sam.

    Not only do seniors and retirees face a greater financial burden, they enter an insurance and health care delivery system with overwhelming complexity. Obama deforms health care with profiteering and distorting bribes/punishments. The underlying goals and methods of PPACA are no different than Wall Street's incentive compensation which resulted in widespread criminal behavior.

    While seniors and retirees are set adrift in a sea of mind boggling complexity, the investor class makes big bets on healthcare. They'll happily pick seniors' pockets for their 30% annual returns.

    A big round of applause for Obama's vulture investor class and PPACA's absurd architects. The system is fulfilling its design. Seniors are to suffer or die for their country's financial sector.

    Profit optimization is the primary goal. Everything else is secondary, including retirees and the elderly.