Big Pharma raises price of cancer drug by 1400%

NextSource blames Medicaid for the absurd price increase.

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Within the past four years, the price of a cancer drug used by patients suffering from brain tumors and Hodgkin’s lymphoma has increased by nearly 1,400 percent by its new owners. Although lomustine is no longer protected by patents, no generic version has been made available to cancer patients who cannot afford the gouging price hike.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, Bristol-Myers Squib sold lomustine in 2013 to NextSource Pharmaceuticals, which raised the price nine times since acquiring the medication. NextSource has currently raised the price of lomustine to approximately $768 per pill despite the fact that Bristol-Myers Squib sold the highest dose of the medication for about $50 per capsule.

“Recently, NextSource Pharma’s pricing of Gleostine® (lomustine) was questioned by national media for a series of price increases over the past three years. The subject of drug pricing is an important one. It is more complex than many realize,” NextSource wrote in a recent statement. “In general, pricing is determined based on a number of factors including product development costs, regulatory agency fees, class of product, benefit the treatment delivers to patients, and other determinants.”

Blaming Medicaid for the absurd price increase, NextSource also attempted to justify the price gouge by accusing the FDA of raising licensing fees. According to NextSource CEO Robert DiCrisci, his company sets its prices based on the costs it incurred in developing the medication and the benefits that it provides to patients.

In 2015, founder and former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, Martin Shkreli, raised the price of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per tablet. After increasing the price to roughly 5,500 percent, Shkreli gained national attention and was later found guilty on two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

By giving a massive tax break to their donors, “conservative” Republicans became responsible for raising the deficit by more than $1 trillion in order to justify cutting CHIP, Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare later on down the road.

In a recent statement, Sen. Bernie Sanders asserted, “The Trump-Republican tax plan is one of the worst pieces of legislation in the modern history of our country. At a time of massive income and wealth inequality, 83 percent of the tax benefits in that bill go to the top 1 percent at the end of 10 years and 60 percent of the benefits go to the top one-tenth of 1 percent. On the other hand, by the end of the decade, 92 million middle-class Americans will actually be paying more in taxes, including 8 million in the first year alone. Further, this legislation will result in 13 million people losing their health insurance while substantially raising premiums all across the country. It also raises the deficit by $1.4 trillion, laying the groundwork for House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republicans to call for cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other important programs in the name of ‘deficit reduction.’”

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Andrew Emett
Andrew Emett is a staff writer for NationofChange. Andrew is a Los Angeles-based reporter exposing political and corporate corruption. His interests include national security, corporate abuse, and holding government officials accountable. Andrew’s work has appeared on Raw Story, Alternet, and many other sites. You can follow him on Twitter @AndrewEmett and on Facebook at Andrew Emett.

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