September 29, 2017 – True Costs


Anchor lead: How much does it really cost to bring a new drug to market? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Soaring drug costs have everyone concerned, but pharmaceutical companies have for years justified them with citation of research and development, or R and D costs needing to be recovered. Now a new study in JAMA Internal Medicine concludes that cancer drug makers reap on average 9 times their R and D costs four years after FDA approval. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, comments.

Nelson: R and D costs are not spiraling out of control, the biopharma industry is getting more efficient. There’s another trend that’s captured in this a little bit and that’s that large pharmaceutical companies have somewhat outsourced this process to smaller companies and then they build those relationships later, leading to a drug discovery and development ecosystem where the costs of developing a drug isn’t as high as we believed it was. Costs are born by the American public, who are paying for their treatment in one way or another.  :32

Nelson notes that public awareness is key. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.