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The real cancer killer: rip-off prices for drugs set by ‘profiteering’ Big Pharma giants By Andrew Betancourt

Posted on Tuesday, 30th April 2013 @ 08:35 AM by Text Size A | A | A

An influential group of cancer experts has warned that the high prices charged by pharmaceutical companies for cancer drugs are effectively condemning patients to death.

The group of more than 100 leading cancer physicians from around the world, including nine from the UK, accuse the drug industry of “profiteering” – making a profit by unethical methods such as by raising the cost of grain after a natural disaster.

Of the 12 drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the US in 2012, 11 were priced above $100,000 (£65,000) per patient per year. In addition the price of existing drugs of proven effectiveness has been increased by up to threefold.

The specialists say: “What determines a morally justifiable ‘just price’ for a cancer drug? A reasonable drug price  should maintain healthy pharmaceutical industry profits without being viewed as ‘profiteering’. This term [profiteering] may apply to the trend of high drug prices where a life threatening medical condition is the disaster.”

The high prices mean the drugs may not be approved by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence in the UK forcing doctors to fill in a 14 page application apply to the Cancer Drugs fund for British patients who could benefit from them.

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