$93,000 cancer drug: How much is a life worth?

Full story: Long Beach Press-Telegram

In this Aug. 16, 2010 photo, patient Bob Svensson is hooked up to a blood infusion machine under the care of Nancy Grant, a registered nurse at the American Red Cross in Dedham, Mass., as he undergoes a $93,000 prostate cancer treatment.
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1 - 20 of 22 Comments Last updated Sep 30, 2010
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popcorn

La Verne, CA

#1 Sep 26, 2010
Marilynn Marchione of the associated press is the worsw kind of writer. Pushing class warfare.
ctj

AOL

#2 Sep 26, 2010
I was going to carry out an obligation an expose BHO for who he is, but my higher purpose is to get a fundamental change on how much freedom we have with regards to the number of children a person can have. Do we want a culture where rich and poor have many more children like most of history has been, or do we want a more humane lifestyle where a middle class is allowed to thrive without having to bend to the will of insanity? Next.
lolinda

AOL

#3 Sep 26, 2010
What kind of health care do the majority of people in China and India have? So, now that the great majority of us are becoming like them, what do you think this adds up to for us?
seein the lite--

Long Beach, CA

#4 Sep 26, 2010
Hmmm...
It costs $100,000 a year and it extends life 4 months?
seems like the math doesn't work right...
4 months is 1/3 of a year...
It oughta cost only about $33,000. 35 grand, tops.
lolinda

AOL

#5 Sep 26, 2010
fasten it up: www.youtube.com/watch...
Wrigley Gal

Long Beach, CA

#6 Sep 27, 2010
I wonder how much that very drug would cost in Canada? Or Mexico? If we were able to legally obtain pharmaceuticals from foreign countries, the cost to us would be considerably lower. And don't go off on "our drugs are much safer" Really? The last time I went to the pharmacy for antibiotics, they were sold to me loose, in a plastic container with no way of knowing if they were truly what the doctor ordered. Not so In Canada or Mexico. They come sealed from the manufacturer. Generally, from an AMERICAN or European manufacturer. My antibiotics? They were Chinese...
bobby bergdoll

Muncie, IN

#7 Sep 27, 2010
seems to be that "miracle drugs" cost a lot of money?
just give them some "street heroin" for 4 months. life is not all that valuable.
no one is going to remember who you are/were 20 years after you're gone anyways...

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#8 Sep 27, 2010
Wrigley Gal wrote:
I wonder how much that very drug would cost in Canada? Or Mexico? If we were able to legally obtain pharmaceuticals from foreign countries, the cost to us would be considerably lower. And don't go off on "our drugs are much safer" Really? The last time I went to the pharmacy for antibiotics, they were sold to me loose, in a plastic container with no way of knowing if they were truly what the doctor ordered. Not so In Canada or Mexico. They come sealed from the manufacturer. Generally, from an AMERICAN or European manufacturer. My antibiotics? They were Chinese...
The high cost of drugs is not safety it is the research and manufacturing changes to produce the drugs. The U.S. pays for the research for the rest of the world. Canada would (a) never put this drug on its "allowed list"; and (b) arbitrarily establish a price it would pay. Same is true for most other countries with "universal health care". They restrict coverage to keep the cost down.
I was recently talking to two Canadian doctors from Toronto. They told me there is not a single PET scanner in Toronto, a city of 5 million. There are probably 25 in greater LA and they have been here for years.

With Obamacare starting we will face either much higher costs or "rationing" of services just like Canada and England. The way to avoid this is simple. Do not do Obamacare instead federally charter insurance companies to sell a set of standard policies with a range of benefits that we can chose what we want. The cost will drop and everyone will have access to the good care we have now. For those who cannot afford it the government can subsidize them.

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#9 Sep 27, 2010
Note that Medicare has not yet decided whether to cover the drug or not. That folks is "rationing" in its simplest form. When the government runs health care, the government makes decisions about what is covered and what can be used.

Imagine how much greater this will be under Obamacare when the government is "controlling" health care for all of us. You wanted "improved" health care and now we are going to get it and it is not going to be pretty.

Despite what the President said costs will go up. It is simple math. If you expand coverage and add benefits to policies costs have to go up. The government does not have the skills or knowledge to "bend the cost curve". So, they will have to use a "blunt" instrument a.k.a. rationing just as Medicare currently does.

This is not going to be fun.
ctj

AOL

#10 Sep 27, 2010
I'm in favor of not only 86ing Obamacare, but the HMO system that started in the early 70's. This whole medical malpractice/insurance scheme, I feel, is a huge bummer for Americans.
ctj

AOL

#11 Sep 27, 2010
ctj wrote:
This whole medical malpractice/insurance scheme, I feel, is a huge bummer for Americans.
It's not only a racket that massively drives up medical costs, but is a hatefull system built on a lack of trust.
ctj

AOL

#12 Sep 27, 2010
hateful or despised
OMG

Pleasanton, CA

#13 Sep 27, 2010
The big question is why does it cost so much..oh that's right - greed!
StayAtHomeMom

United States

#15 Sep 27, 2010
Question how many cures of cancer has there been and all those dollars spent ? Just answer that question for me ! Have a great day and stay cool today !
silver

Long Beach, CA

#16 Sep 27, 2010
Watch Them, you were having your leg pulled! I am Canadian and my best friend lives in Toronto. Both she and her husband have had PET scans in Toronto.

shocking

Long Beach, CA

#17 Sep 27, 2010
Funny how people complain about the cost of a drug, to grasp onto life as long as possible, can be and why bother. That's until it happens to them or their loved ones.

Then they demand the govt/insurer cover it. The price tag of life is priceless.
LBEastsider

Long Beach, CA

#18 Sep 27, 2010
Why are we so terrified of dying?

Four months of extended life at $93K is only an option if someone else (insurance or the government) is paying. Would this guy spend $93K out of his own funds to get this treatment? NO WAY. So why should taxpayers or insurers be expected to?
Parent

Long Beach, CA

#19 Sep 27, 2010
Let it Pops...... Let it go.

Peace
LBEastsider

Long Beach, CA

#20 Sep 27, 2010
Bob happily takes the $93K treatment and sticks the taxpayers with the bill! Gotta love it!
So much misinfo

Tempe, AZ

#21 Sep 28, 2010
It costs $93,000 TOTAL for the treatment, not $93,000 a year. This cost is nowhere near Chemo and the associated drugs/treatments/hospital visits...

The MEDIAN survival is 4.1 months. NOT the AVERAGE is 4.1 months. There are people 3 years after taking Provenge still alive, we cannot come up with an AVERAGE yet because people are still alive...

Get it now?

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