Gilead’s drug is cost effective according to two new studies.

These drugs are good value for the money," said lead author Jagpreet Chhatwal, from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston

In the real world there will be lots of discounting. For a drug not covered by my insurance, list price over $300 for a moth’s worth ,I found coupons bringing the price down to $23. So I expect these studies overestimate the actual price most people will pay.

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Saul (and anyone else who’s still reading), I could go on endlessly about how messed up our healthcare system is. You’ve cited a few easily fixed problems in France. How to repair? Pay the doctors more so that new doctors will be attracted to the system. How do the French pay them more? Divert taxes from defense to healthcare. If that can’t be done, raise taxes. I know, every Republican abhors taxes, but the French don’t have to deal with our Republicans and Grover Norquist.

As for the situation in the US, let’s take Purdue Pharma for example. They are the makers of the infamous drug, Oxycontin. Purdue has sold a boatload of these pills, make that 10 or 50 boatloads. They knew that the majority of the pills being sold were feeding addictions. The executives lied to the FDA. They lied about the dangers to physicians. They lied to anyone and everyone who could have done something about it. And when their lies finally unraveled, they were reprimanded. Ouch! That slap on the wrist really stings. And, they were fined - a mere fraction of the profits they reaped from being dope dealers.

And just before their patent expired, guess what? They came out with a “tamper proof” pill and were awarded brand new patent protection so there’s no extended release oxycodone based medication available in the US other than - you guessed it - Oxycontin.

I’m sure one of their scientists will anonymously post an on-line article on how to defeat the tamper-proof packaging. After all, they wouldn’t want to lose that huge addict market.

Maybe Purdue is an extreme case - but not very extreme. I see very little distance between these executives and the head of any Mexican drug cartel. Oxycontin has destroyed countless lives and families. Hundreds if not thousands of people have died from the abuse of this drug. And these drug dealers are rewarded with new patent protection. How long do you suppose that tamper-proof pill was on the shelf? Sure as hell didn’t want to release it prematurely while the old patent was still in place. A few hundred more lives destroyed is a small price to pay for those profits. Oh yeah, you can’t invest in Purdue, it’s privately held.

OK Saul, I’ve got a lot of respect for you. Not just because you’re a savvy investor, but you seem to be a genuine human with a conscience and all that kind of good stuff. That’s not sarcasm. I sincerely mean it. So I respect that you are “torn” by this. I’m not. Our healthcare system is screwed up, top to bottom. A lot of people suffer and die needlessly because of it. Irrespective of what you might think of Obama, ACA is definitely a small step in the right direction. I’ll be dumbfounded and astonished if SCOTUS destroys it on the most specious grounds of the current case.

We can do so much better.


Saul I was stunned when the pricing came out. I was a shareholder but I never thought about selling my shares over the issue, but I was troubled

One thing that no one had brought up yet, Europe is often what and economist would call a “free rider” in medicine. The US devotes the capital, in facilities and researchers in drug development, and then other countries demand to pay based on the costs to manufacture. This completely ignore the cost involved in drug development. Someone has to pay in order for advances to happen. Researchers need to be paid, even when their research fails to lead to an approved drug. And equipment needs to be paid for. I think we could just as easily say the rest of the world is benefiting from things they refuse to bear any of the costs for.

We could have a long discussion about better methods to lower the unit costs of drugs, while still rewarding the necessary capital for scientific progress.

And don’t get me started on all the free riders on the US defenses…



I’m writing to say how much I agree with your post about GILD, or any
company, gouging the public - because they can. It’s an inhumane concept, when it comes to the availability [or not] of a drug that helps people live. Shouldn’t be allowed to happen. But that’s the
society, the system, that we’ve developed. We get what we deserve. Very sad that as a society we don’t hold the general health of the public as priority.

Reason enuf, indeed, to invest elsewhere.


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TMFFlygal, I think you’re confusing Europe with the Third World.

Yes, some European countries have negotiated discounts on Sovaldi for example, but the $53,000 (approx) cost of a course of treatment in the UK is clearly well above manufacturing cost.

Also, last time I looked, nobody was forcing Gilead to sell its drugs in Europe. It clearly makes financial sense for the company.

By the way, drug development isn’t confined to the US.


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Hi Saul,

You’re going to need a new example.

Two nasal steroid sprays now available OTC in US for under $20:

Nasacort and now Flonase!…

Two nasal steroid sprays now available OTC in US for under $20

Will that make my nose look bigger?


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You’re going to need a new example.

Two nasal steroid sprays now available OTC in US for under $20:

Like I said, the market working its magic. But it does take time, a problem for the instant gratification set.

Denny Schlesinger


Will that make my nose look bigger?

If your nose runs and your feet smell, you’re built upside down. :wink:

The Captain

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