Why are cancer drugs so expensive, is it related to their production technology, or is it a business?

Why are cancer drugs so expensive, is it related to their production technology, or is it a business?

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answers (2)

Answer 1
February, 2021

Of course, this is business and technology and legal regulation.

It just so happens that drugs for serious diseases cannot be cheap. Relying on the fact that people value their health very much.

Another point is the development and creation of drugs is associated with high-tech production.

Legal regulation is to protect the developer's rights to a manufactured drug - a patent. After the expiration of the patent, the competitive production and development of generics and biosimilars begins.

Answer 2
February, 2021
  1. Only new drugs for cancer are expensive - because for 10 years the company that invented the drug has actually enjoyed a monopoly on the sale of this drug.

  2. Not only new drugs for cancer are expensive, but all new drugs (originals) in general - and the numbers are quite comparable to drugs for the treatment of other serious diseases.

  3. As soon as the patent for the original drug expires, it can be produced in any company that is capable of it. This immediately drops the price several times and then it only goes down. The drug stops being expensive.

  4. The high cost of the company's drugs that manufacture original drugs is traditionally explained by the high cost of development, launching to the market and other costs of the "pioneer", although in fact everyone understands perfectly well that this is a business and the worse the disease, the more expensive the drug will be. p>

  5. There is a constant struggle in the world between original drugs and generics. Originals accuse generics of low quality, while generics accuse originals of being greedy and overpriced. In fact, both are taking place:

  • there really are very high-quality generics (and there are many of them even in Russia), but you must understand that there are also unscrupulous manufacturers of generic drugs.

  • there really is a price conspiracy of firms that produce original drugs, but in fact, the production and development of the original is really more expensive than the generic one.

  1. In addition, there is a new type of generics that are not formally such - these are biosimilars. The essence of the phenomenon is as follows. The original drug is a biomolecule whose structure is not so important in comparison with its functions. And companies that produce "generic" absolutely do not have to get the same formula - they have to get the same function of the molecule, this is called biosimilar. Why am I writing about this separately? Because the development of a biosimilar is almost the same as the development of an original drug, only with a predetermined function, and this does not bring down the price of a drug so much.

A typical example of biosimilars is biosimilars of monoclonal antibodies, which by the way, they are successfully produced in Russia. They "bring down" the price by about 30-40%, but not at times.

  1. Attention! Below you will see my value judgment.

[It seems to me] Another reason for the high cost of cancer drugs lies not in the plane of biology and science. This is commonplace corruption. There is reason to believe [for some reason it seems to me so] that the prices of oncological (and not only) drugs include considerable kickbacks. And after that, how can the drug be sold cheaper at retail, if the state has bought the same drug at an exorbitant price in bulk? This is not the case everywhere, but in some regions - [it seems to me] it is.

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