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Bayer and Nexavar Options
dingdong
Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2012 5:40:16 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/7/2010
Posts: 1,139
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Location: Philippines
On Aljazeera:

Bayer's cancer drug Nexavar costs 46 dollars per tablet. A spokesman for the industry said the cost must cover the costs of R & D, and the cost of 'failures'. He never mentioned anything about big fat profits.

Natco Pharma, an Indian company, are selling it at a 97% discount. Bayer are not pleased.

Now, I want to ask, given the exhorbitant price, is there any possibility of this drug actually working? My answer is NO, but others, with experience of taking these drugs might disagree.

I believe no manufactured drug can cure cancer, and the pharmacuetical companies are cruelly deceiving and robbing vulnerable people.

I stress, this is only my view.

Comments?

Rusty
Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2012 7:03:14 AM
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Joined: 1/29/2011
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Neurons: 450
Yeah, they have done that. Though I am sympathetic to the companies because they do indeed incur HUGE costs and years of hardwork for developing drugs, I don't really agree that they are in "the business of making money, not saving lives". Here's a link to give you an idea

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1120313/jsp/frontpage/story_15243791.jsp

However, Bayer might still challange the ruling

http://www.hindustantimes.com/business-news/Sectors/Bayer-mulls-challenge-to-India-cancer-drug-ruling/Article1-824680.aspx
genome
Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2012 8:54:02 AM
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Joined: 3/21/2009
Posts: 23
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Location: India
There are three issues in dingdong's query.

Firstly is there a cure for cancer? As our knowledge of the disease and its treatment stands today there is no definitive cure for cancer. The objective of cancer treatment is to obtain a remission, meaning the tumour subsides but only as long as the drug acts. By carefully applying various regimens such as chemotherapy (drugs), radiation and surgery the physician can prolong the life of a patient for a long time.

The same is the case with HIV-AIDS. There are some other chronic diseases like hypertension (BP), diabetes and ulcers in the stomach which also need life-long medication. Untreated hypertension and diabetes can kill a person as much as cancer or AIDS.

Secondly, is the high cost justified? Pharmaceutical companies spend a lot of money on research of new drugs. It is estimated that a new drug costs about US$ 100 million and may take up to 10 years to develop through various stages, by the time it can be marketed. There is another point to this. Even after all the time and money spent on it, by the time a drug reaches the market, another equivalent or better drug might overtake it. So there is an element of risk involved for the developers.

Thirdly the cost: some years ago an Indian pharmaceutical company offered AIDS medications in South Africa (which used to have the largest concentration of AIDS patients) @ US$ 350 for a year's course whereas the original patent holders were selling it @ US$ 10,000. It is feasible to produce drugs at low costs because of low manufacturing costs in India. As AIDS is considered a humanitarian disaster, perhaps the patent holders should be satisfied with some royalty on sales as remuneration for their efforts.

The same holds true in the latest Bayer vs. Natco cancer medication case. Bayer's cost is approximately Rs 2.80 L as against Natcos Rs 8,800/- The Telegraph's headline "India uses arm-twist rule for cancer drug" is insensitive (to cancer patients) because there is a clause in the IPR Law and the Indian authorities are only trying to put it into practice. The specific clause under 'Compulsory Licencing' gives the Indian government the right to fix the price if it feels the original patent holder's price is exorbitant. At Rs 8,800/- per month the price of Nexavar (one medication alone) comes to about Rs 1.06 L. Besides, there may be other medicines and other costs like the physician's consultation fees, charges for radiation therapy etc. How many patients can afford this? The corresponding price of Bayer product is Rs 33.6 L, which is beyond the reach a majority of Indian patients. Therefore Bayer should be happy to gracefully accept royalty on sales rather than fighting a legal battle which it is not likely to win. In the South African case mentioned above, the multinational companies which initiated the legal proceedings did that.
GeorgeV
Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2012 9:29:10 AM
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Joined: 4/3/2009
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Location: Canada
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