Skip to main content

This controversy out of Bayer Pharmaceuticals has been pretty much ignored by the American media.  You won't find it on CNN or any of the network channels.    I don't know whether its because Bayer is a huge advertiser or whether they think the American people had their fill of "affluenza" stories this week on the heels of Tim Perkins' idiotic statement comparing rich people troubles to the Holocaust.  (It goes without saying that its not on Fox either, but they aren't "news").

But its a pretty big deal...


Nexavar is a kidney and liver cancer-fighting drug that was developed by Bayer and approved for use over 9 years ago.  Despite it being almost a decade, the price has not come down much for the drug.  A one-year drug treatment costs $69,000 at minimum.  

You read that right.  To get a one year supply of pills it will cost you 69K US dollars.

India has a law that says they will allow other companies to manufacture a generic version of any life-saving drug IF that drug is massively overpriced.

In 2012, an Indian patent court ruled that, yeah, $69,000 dollars is quite a freaking lot to ask a dying person to pay for a damn drug treatment.  (At least if your last name isn't "Koch".)  As The Young Turks pointed out, 69K is 41 times the country's annual per capita income.  

So India allowed a generic version to be made by another company at a cost of $177 a year-- a trite more reasonable.  That's 99.7% less than the 69K.

Bayer's CEO, Marijn Dekkers, was outraged by the ruling.  In an interview with Bloomberg BusinessWeek a few days ago he didn't even try to hide his contempt:

 photo untitled_zpse656a219.png

 photo western_zpsc0686ee4.png

He said that.  

Wow.  He was able to not only piss on dying poor people but be racist while doing it.

Dekkers went on to say that the ruling was "essentially theft".  (Said the man who charges 69k for a drug that can be made 99 times cheaper.)

I get the argument that drug companies have a reasonable expectation of profit.  Yes, I also get that research and development can be expensive and they want to recoup some of that.  But come on... you've charged $69,000 per person for life-saving treatment for almost a decade.  I think you've recouped your expenses.  There is no justification for charging that much to someone.

I remember the outrage I felt when affluenza was used as a murder defense last year, but I'm starting to think its a real affliction for people so ungodly rich they lose touch with humanity.  No rational, healthy person would say they developed a life-saving drug for only rich people.  Or compare complaints about obscene income inequality with being attacked by Nazis.  Or play dress-up as a wage employee to mock working families.  

At least this guy is being honest.  But you'll understand that the next time I get a headache, I'll be passing over the Bayer aspirin.  


Visit
SemDem
Follow
@TheSemDem
Like Us
Facebook
Get
Mobile App
Contact
Got a Tip?

10:34 AM PT: Gooserock asked if government funds were used to foot the bill of development.  I don't know the specifics of this drug, but I can tell you that it is often the case.  The federal government spent $484 million to develop the cancer drug Taxol. Bristol-Myers reaped massive profits by selling 9 billion dollars worth.  The National Institute of Health only received a 35 million royalty.  


EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

skybluewater, Louise, RichM, Alumbrados, Sylv, KeithH, CJB, Sean Robertson, Mogolori, sny, AaronInSanDiego, Geenius at Wrok, Powered Grace, RunawayRose, Emerson, Shockwave, just another vet, jazzizbest, Wintermute, hyperstation, eeff, MarkInSanFran, jancw, hubcap, niemann, scribe, susans, cskendrick, fugwb, whenwego, roses, CanisMaximus, denig, Nate Roberts, Terre, navajo, Cedwyn, wader, Texknight, SneakySnu, psnyder, NYC Sophia, Eyesbright, roseeriter, Damnit Janet, yet another liberal, churchylafemme, Steven Payne, houyhnhnm, Catte Nappe, lcrp, inclusiveheart, econlibVA, zerelda, Steven D, lyvwyr101, vacantlook, bibble, sebastianguy99, BDA in VA, oortdust, sawgrass727, ZZZzzz, greycat, ichibon, caul, tolerant, Erik the Red, Flint, citizenx, dewtx, stagemom, YucatanMan, Kevskos, eru, jcitybone, LieparDestin, quiet in NC, peacestpete, Box of Rain, martini, poco, buddabelly, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Kingsmeg, Themistoclea, cardboardurinal, profundo, mooshter, koNko, Wednesday Bizzare, kck, Farradin, MJ via Chicago, JVolvo, Turbonerd, onionjim, BlueMississippi, CA Nana, Jbearlaw, lynneinfla, bstotts, Aaa T Tudeattack, cpresley, krwheaton, tegrat, One Pissed Off Liberal, wa ma, ksp, ColoTim, EdSF, yoduuuh do or do not, karmsy, edsbrooklyn, la urracca, Matt Z, sfbob, bnasley, Back In Blue, millwood, carpunder, Wreck Smurfy, journeyman, Assaf, on the cusp, Ezekiel in Exile, mconvente, VelvetElvis, also mom of 5, mamamedusa, Youffraita, Involuntary Exile, theunreasonableHUman, Buckeye Nut Schell, Sharon Wraight, Calamity Jean, tofumagoo, royce, Cassandra Waites, triplepoint, Taget, petulans, Ismay, Rhysling, Ran3dy, rudy23, cantelow, Carol in San Antonio, Sarge in Seattle, virginwoolf, elziax, MKSinSA, Keith Pickering, sfarkash, Essephreak, citisven, Railfan, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, commonmass, icemilkcoffee, NJpeach, estreya, gramofsam1, Luma, Crabby Abbey, cordgrass, pixxer, Egalitare, DiegoUK, NYWheeler, Jaimas, DrTerwilliker, petesmom, Oh Mary Oh, slice, theKgirls, MidwestTreeHugger, spooks51, slowbutsure, grannyboots, hagarwood, asterkitty, mikejay611, rg611, Nicci August, Teiresias70, Outraged Mom, trumpeter, Coastrange, floridablue, LSmith, antooo, peregrine kate, Safina, stlsophos, Chitown Kev, Apost8, caryltoo, No one gets out alive, AnnetteK, anodnhajo, sow hat, Flying Goat, IndieGuy, Joieau, FloridaSNMOM, FreeSpeaker, teabaggerssuckbalz, hotheadCA, belinda ridgewood, geojumper, BusyinCA, wasatch, peptabysmal, Portlaw, Lily O Lady, Chaddiwicker, jusjtim35, gypsytoo, unfangus, JerryNA, chocoholic, northerntier, PaloAltoPixie, Avilyn, ziniko, Ishmaelbychoice, starduster, Annie B, LeftieIndie, karma5230, Dodgerdog1, ExpatGirl, Fish Man, Penny GC, Nattiq, Old Sailor, Darwinian Detritus, ConservativeBrainTrust, Skyye, ginimck, joegoldstein, dawgflyer13, Liberal for Life, nicestjerk

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site