Why Should You Pay $100,000 a Year For a Cancer Drug - - Is This Extortion?

The above headline is absolutely no joke folks. This awesome story in yesterday's New York Times discusses the obscene pricing of late-stage cancer drugs like Avastin at $100,000 annually. The justification drugmaker Genentech uses for such price-gouging: If patients want access to "life-sustaining" therapies, they'll be forced to pay the price, which, in many cases means emptying their bank accounts, even if the drug is useless.

This is merely another amazing illustration of the standard operating procedures used by drug companies: Provide exorbitant drugs that, in no way, shape or form, treat the cause of the problem and earn billions of dollars for doing so.

Even worse, patients whose insurance companies pay most of the freight for these ridiculously expensive drugs (and still have an out-of-pocket co-payment of as much as $20,000 a year) survive the cancer, they will probably succumb to another chronic degenerative illness because the previous drug never treated the cause, only the symptoms.

Isn't that the perfect approach from a drug company's perspective? Fact is, there's no reason for most drugs to treat the true cause of medical conditions at all. Doing so would merely eliminate future potential income from selling more band-aid drug treatments.

As you probably know, cancer passed heart disease as the leading cause of death in the United States last year. Still, the American Cancer Society estimates more than 60 percent of 2005 cancer deaths may have been prevented if patients had made some basic lifestyle changes.

But why go slightly more than halfway, based on the conventional wisdom of the American Cancer Society, when you can virtually eliminate your risks by following my extensive list of recommendations I posted a year ago.

Save your health and your money. You've work too hard to waste either one on "miracle" drugs and cures...

New York Times February 15, 2006 Registration Required

The (Lakeland, Fla.) Ledger February 15, 2006

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