Specialty Drugs at Risk

This is from a Scott Gottlieb editorial in the Wall Street Journal:

"Specialty" drugs for rare diseases and unmet medical needs like cancer….offer significant health benefits but for a high price.

It can cost less than $5,000 to enroll a single patient in a trial for a primary care drug such as a blood pressure pill, but up to $70,000 for a big cancer study and more than $100,000 for some very rare diseases. Specialty drugs that were once tested on hundreds of patients are now often required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be tested on thousands.

Success rates are low. On average, a drug stands an 11% chance of making it through clinical trials and reaching patients. Cancer drugs only have a 5% chance of clearing these hurdles.

Comments (2)

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  1. Lewis says:

    Just think about the fate of specialty drugs once Obama or McCain gets in the White House and starts negotiating prices with the drug companies.

  2. Lucy L. says:

    What will be worse will be Obama’s “national plan” paying 25% or 40% below market prices for health care.