Exploiting Cancer Patients With $10,000 a Month Drugs

Earlier this year, I told you about the cancer drug Avastin, now being touted as an "important new treatment" for breast and lung cancer, at the obscene cost of $100,000 a year. Two important articles you should read in this morning's USA Today discuss the personal stories and the financial sacrifices people make to afford a "miracle" cancer drug.

Are cancer-fighting drugs really worth upwards of $100,000 a year? The very vocal and former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Marcia Angell, sums it up brilliantly: It's really exploiting the desperation of people with a life-threatening illness.

Consider, for example, the dilemma of a flight attendant who stopped taking Herceptin because her monthly tab for the drug -- $800 a month even with an employer sponsored insurance plan -- now exceeds what she pays to rent an apartment in Memphis. Do you save the money or throw it away on a drug that might extend your life a little longer, before succumbing to another life-draining condition?

A mind-blowing chart lists nine current drug therapies ranging from $2,400 to as much as $13,000 per month.

Drug companies are betting -- and winning -- on the latter choice. A better and safer alternative for you: Eliminating your risks by following a proactive, drug-free approach by following my extensive list of recommendations.

USA Today July 11, 2006

USA Today July 11, 2006

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