But at the very least, we need these companies to break-even, otherwise they might not invest in research for the future.
I believe the vast majority of pharmas do much, much better than break even so I wouldn't worry about them going out of business any time soon.
In layman's terms, Tysabri is twice as good as the CRABs at reducing relapses (67% v 30%), so one could argue that the price should be twice as much as the CRABs- who knows?
I guess it's a good thing that Biogen didn't state that Tysabri was 3 times better than the CRABs! Whew!!
Biogen / Elan are likely to have a fairly short run with this drug - given that by 2010 there will be oral treatments on the market. So they have got four years to recoup the £350 million investment and their on-going costs.
Original market predictions published by Biogen before Tysabri was ever approved and the price raised recently by 22%, showed that they expected revenue close to $2 billion within 2 years.
So it might be that Tysabri never recoups the investment made by Elan and Biogen.
I knew there was a logical reason as to why they were charging so much per infusion for the drug!
If the companies could come up with a drug to stop / reverse this condition - how much should the price be? $64,000? $150,000? I suspect that sufferers and / or their partners would sell their homes to get their lives back and no-one would be questioning price / profit / marketing tactics. Unfortunately, we are not yet in this position.
And I've heard it stated by several people on many MS forums that big pharma isn't interested in discovering a "cure" for MS. They are far more interested in providing long term use expensive drugs which bring in huge amounts of revenue. And that isn't me speaking, that's what I have read.
Government's could set up and fund their own drugs companies, but I fear they would not pay the rates required to attract the best researchers or take the risk of funding drugs which may never make it to amrket.
Unfortunately when governments try to run some kinds of businesses, politics always has a way of interfering with efficiency.
Your obedient servant