Novartis AG announced a new multiple sclerosis (MS) drug, Gilenya. MS is a terrible neurologic disease, and a pill to treat the disease is most welcome. But the cost? The cost? Approximately $48,000 per year for an individual patient! Wow. I wonder how they justify that.
In a world in which the insurer is paying for the drug, why would a patient say no to this? We need some kind of system to control drug costs. Having the government do it is a possibility — if we’re willing to accept rationing. Having the insurance companies do it is a possibility, if we’re willing to accept letting them make our health care decisions for us.
Or, we can change the system so that patients bear more responsible for the cost of their care. I think that would keep pharmaceutical companies from charging prices like these.