Tags: leukemia | drug | price

Leukemia Drug Price Spikes to $200K a Year and Lawmakers Want Answers

Leukemia Drug Price Spikes to $200K a Year and Lawmakers Want Answers

The price of a leukemia drug has jumped to $200,000 annually with four hikes in 2016 alone. (Thirdlife/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Thursday, 20 October 2016 05:25 PM

The price of leukemia drug Iclusig has spiked to almost $200,000 a year, and Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Elijah Cummings want to know why.

The drug's cost has increased more than $80,000 since 2012, The Associated Press reported, including four separate times in 2016 alone.

The two lawmakers wrote to ARIAD Pharmaceuticals on Thursday with questions about the price hike.

“These outrageous sales tactics indicate that ARIAD is more concerned with its profit than with its patients,” Sanders and Cummings wrote, the AP reported.

The pair is also investigating whether ARIAD tweaked pill dosages and quantities so it could charge more for less medicine.

Iclusig was approved by the FDA in 2012 to treat chronic myeloid leukemia but was taken off the market for several months because of the possibility of patients developing life-threatening blood clots while taking the drug. It was relaunched for some patients in December 2013.

Other pharmaceutical company CEOs also have come under fire recently for price hikes to life-saving drugs. Martin Shkreli of Turing Pharmaceuticals was blasted last fall for hiking the price of a life-saving drug, Daraprim, by more than 5000 percent. In September, Mylan CEO Heather Bresch was questioned by a House panel after the price of EpiPens used to stop life-threatening allergic reactions doubled almost overnight, having increased more than 500 percent since 2007.

In a tweet last week, Sanders made his feelings about the price hikes crystal clear, writing, “Drug corporations’ greed is unbelievable.”

Mylan has just agreed to a $465 million settlement for overbilling Medicaid for the EpiPen after it was learned that EpiPen has been classified incorrectly as a generic drug since 1997 under Medicaid.

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The price of leukemia drug Iclusig has spiked to almost $200,000 a year, and Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Elijah Cummings want to know why. The drug's cost has increased more than $80,000 since 2012.
leukemia, drug, price
278
2016-25-20
Thursday, 20 October 2016 05:25 PM
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