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View Full Version : U.S. Issues Is 4 months extra to live worth $100,000?


dirk digler
06-30-2011, 12:08 PM
Medicare is set to approve the drug Provenge which will cost $100,000\per person to treat prostate cancer and extends life up to 4 months.

I am curious what everybody thinks...

Can you put a price tag on the life of a prostate cancer patient?

With the advent of Provenge, the first-ever vaccine cancer treatment, that tag has been set at about $23,000 per month of life gained -- $93,000 in total for a treatment that extends life, on average, by four months.

Given already skyrocketing health care costs, the nearly-six-figure cost of Provenge has raised concerns among health care experts, but to those men who have benefited from this revolutionary new therapy, it's worth every penny.

"On a general basis, to survive is worth anything," says Bob Feutz, 84, of Redmond, Washington.

Feutz received Provenge in 2007 as part of a clinical trial after other hormone therapy and 38 sessions of radiation failed to control his prostate cancer adequately.

Provenge, unlike his radiation treatments, caused him nearly no side effects, just two short bouts of chills, during the three sessions needed. While his PSA level (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MensHealth/life-extending-prostate-drug-provenge-garners-fda-approval/story?id=10511290)-- a test that helps gauge the presence of prostate cancer -- was over five before treatment, in the three years since it has steadily dropped to .69.

"I'm happy to be alive," he says.

Frank Notaris, a 77-year-old Brooklyn native, feels the same way. He just went through treatment a few months ago, but says that "if it keeps you alive, I think it's absolutely worth the cost. Hopefully the insurance companies will cover it."

BillSelfsTrophycase
06-30-2011, 12:10 PM
Depends on the quality of those 4 months

Bump
06-30-2011, 12:12 PM
knowing that these corrupt fucks would be getting 100K off me and knowing that any family I would have is out another 100K, I'd rather just die in peace, honestly. Why should it cost 100K? why? because it's new? I bet it costs less than a dollar to make the drug.

Stewie
06-30-2011, 12:13 PM
This has been my gripe about the perceived cost of health care. It's not the obese, the smokers, the drinkers, or whatever that drive up the costs. The problem is the last year of life is very, very expensive whether you've lived a vice-free life or not. The 85 year old that's in great shape costs as much as the 65 year old smoker when it's near the end. I've seen it personally in my family several times.

FD
06-30-2011, 12:14 PM
If Medicare doesn't cover it, then its a death panel. Case closed.

Bump
06-30-2011, 12:15 PM
This has been my gripe about the perceived cost of health care. It's not the obese, the smokers, the drinkers, or whatever that drive up the costs. The problem is the last year of life is very, very expensive whether you've lived a vice-free life or not. The 85 year old that's in great shape costs as much as the 65 year old smoker when it's near the end. I've seen it personally in my family several times.

this is not why the prices are high. The ONLY reason is greed.

jbwm89
06-30-2011, 12:15 PM
knowing that these corrupt ****s would be getting 100K off me and knowing that any family I would have is out another 100K, I'd rather just die in peace, honestly. Why should it cost 100K? why? because it's new? I bet it costs less than a dollar to make the drug.

Not saying I disagree with you in principle. But remember, just because it costs .50 to make the drug doesn't mean it didn't cost 50 billion in research to develop it.

Bump
06-30-2011, 12:17 PM
Not saying I disagree with you in principle. But remember, just because it costs .50 to make the drug doesn't mean it didn't cost 50 billion in research to develop it.

so lets say a team of 20 scientists worked full time for a year to make this drug? Why do they need to be paid 50 billion? In a normal industry, you don't pay people that much, but in this greedy, evil, corrupt industry you do. It fucking doesn't need to cost this much.

dirk digler
06-30-2011, 12:20 PM
Depends on the quality of those 4 months

Ok but is it worth it to the government to pay the money just to extend your life by 4 months?

I think it is about time we have a serious discussion in this country about end of life and how we pay and handle the situation instead of demigod the issue like the stupid twit Palin did.

ROYC75
06-30-2011, 12:21 PM
Not saying I disagree with you in principle. But remember, just because it costs .50 to make the drug doesn't mean it didn't cost 50 billion in research to develop it.

Just think about how many more people would / could use it if it was cheaper ?

We are talking about billions of dollars, maybe trillions.

HonestChieffan
06-30-2011, 12:26 PM
how much is the actual drug cost vs "treatment" cost?

fan4ever
06-30-2011, 12:29 PM
I'm quite torn on this; I had a brother just pass away in April. Five years ago, his intestines burst, they saved his life, he got back on his feet, and over the course of 5 years his hospital costs had to be in the million dollar plus range. He never took care of himself in those fives years and often he was the reason he was hospitalized over and over again. I feel that after the initial year, when he showed no real interest in changing his horrible health habits, someone should have been able to say to him "OK, obviously you have no interest in taking care of yourself, so if you're not committed to this, we're not either. You've got 3 months to show you're on board with snapping to or welcome to hospice. Over the course of these 5 years I saw fellow patients who likely were treating their health like my brother did...like it was somebody else's responsibility.

dirk digler
06-30-2011, 12:32 PM
how much is the actual drug cost vs "treatment" cost?

The company said it cost $1 billion to make over a 15 year span

Ebolapox
06-30-2011, 12:45 PM
at a certain point, you have to say that enough is enough. what is that point? that's on a person by person basis--I'd prefer to go in peace, but it's easy for me to say as I'm not in the position to really know what it's like to be making that decision for reals.

HonestChieffan
06-30-2011, 12:46 PM
The company said it cost $1 billion to make over a 15 year span


what does it cost the hospital for the three doses

HonestChieffan
06-30-2011, 12:50 PM
so lets say a team of 20 scientists worked full time for a year to make this drug? Why do they need to be paid 50 billion? In a normal industry, you don't pay people that much, but in this greedy, evil, corrupt industry you do. It ****ing doesn't need to cost this much.


you dont know much about the industry, product development, research, regulatory demands, and business in general. So it seems so simple to you.

Bump
06-30-2011, 12:54 PM
you dont know much about the industry, product development, research, regulatory demands, and business in general. So it seems so simple to you.

No, actually I have this amazing ability to see things for what they really are. Something no conservative republican follower has.

dirk digler
06-30-2011, 01:10 PM
what does it cost the hospital for the three doses

I have no idea but from reading it will be significantly less since there are little to no side effects and the treatment lasts only 1 month compared to 7 months for chemo.

I just want to clarify something that wasn't in the OP, the 4 month life extension is the median. In trials about 30% lived up to 3 years or a little bit longer.

stevieray
06-30-2011, 01:50 PM
...the left will continue their history of devaluing life.

Saul Good
06-30-2011, 01:56 PM
so lets say a team of 20 scientists worked full time for a year to make this drug? Why do they need to be paid 50 billion? In a normal industry, you don't pay people that much, but in this greedy, evil, corrupt industry you do. It ****ing doesn't need to cost this much.

Maybe you should take a basic economics class before weighing in on matters such as this.

You're acting like it took 40,000 man hours to make this drug. Its more likely that it took 4,000,000 man hours plus incredibly expensive scientific equipment. That is to say nothing of the 99 other drugs that didn't pan out that still have a cost to be recouped.

You aren't just paying for the drug that works. You're paying for all of the drugs that didn't.

Saul Good
06-30-2011, 02:02 PM
No, actually I have this amazing ability to see things for what they really are. Something no conservative republican follower has.

Yep. That's it. Why does a movie ticket cost $10? The roll of film only cost $100, and 10,000 people watch each roll of film. A movie ticket should only cost $0.02 with a 50% profit margin for the theater.

Why don't conservatives understand the nuances of economics like bump does?

Baby Lee
06-30-2011, 03:59 PM
so lets say a team of 20 scientists worked full time for a year to make this drug? Why do they need to be paid 50 billion? In a normal industry, you don't pay people that much, but in this greedy, evil, corrupt industry you do. It fucking doesn't need to cost this much.

We pay a closet case in lifts $20 million to say 'you complete me,' and you're bitching about the people figuring out how to save lives?

BigRichard
06-30-2011, 04:00 PM
No.

Baby Lee
06-30-2011, 04:02 PM
Ok but is it worth it to the government to pay the money just to extend your life by 4 months?

I think it is about time we have a serious discussion in this country about end of life and how we pay and handle the situation instead of demigod the issue like the stupid twit Palin did.

ROFL - this place regularly delivers.

Brock
06-30-2011, 04:54 PM
We pay a closet case in lifts $20 million to say 'you complete me,' and you're bitching about the people figuring out how to save lives?

ROFL

BigCatDaddy
06-30-2011, 04:59 PM
Is it football season and do we have a shot at the playoffs?

dirk digler
06-30-2011, 05:51 PM
...the left will continue their history of devaluing life.

You are probably one of those people that thought Terry Schiavo was going to suddenly start walking and be normal after 15 years in a vegetative state.

MahiMike
06-30-2011, 05:56 PM
Only in America.

ClevelandBronco
06-30-2011, 06:42 PM
Depends on the quality of those 4 months

Also depends on the quality of the person we're trying to keep alive.

Just for the hell of it, I'd like to know the total fair market value of Stephen Hawking's health-related expenses over the years.

'Hamas' Jenkins
06-30-2011, 06:47 PM
1/3 of Medicare expenses are in the last six months of a person's life.

If you have a terminal diagnosis, at some point, palliative therapy is both more effective, and humane, than curative therapy.

FWIW, my grandmother was on an experimental chemo drug called Votrient that costs 14k per month. Fortunately, she was able to get the drug for free due to her age and income, but given that its efficacy was really about the same as others in its class, it would make little sense to subsidize such an expensive regimen that nets little additional increase in quality and quantity of life.

prhom
06-30-2011, 07:31 PM
knowing that these corrupt ****s would be getting 100K off me and knowing that any family I would have is out another 100K, I'd rather just die in peace, honestly. Why should it cost 100K? why? because it's new? I bet it costs less than a dollar to make the drug.

Computer software also "costs" next to nothing to make. It's the R&D that costs money.

I can't say why they'd price it so high as it seems that you'd end up making more money by selling the drug to more people at a lower price.

BucEyedPea
06-30-2011, 08:57 PM
Oh look, we're all members of a Death Panel!!! Whoopie! I feel like God!

Saul Good
07-01-2011, 08:43 AM
1/3 of Medicare expenses are in the last six months of a person's life.

If you have a terminal diagnosis, at some point, palliative therapy is both more effective, and humane, than curative therapy.

FWIW, my grandmother was on an experimental chemo drug called Votrient that costs 14k per month. Fortunately, she was able to get the drug for free due to her age and income, but given that its efficacy was really about the same as others in its class, it would make little sense to subsidize such an expensive regimen that nets little additional increase in quality and quantity of life.

Fair enough. Can we stop pretending that there won't be "death panels" who make these decisions, though? Whether or not these "death panels" are good or bad is up for debate, but you can't deny that they exist.

I would like the freedom to make those determinations for myself based upon what I am willing to sacrifice in order to afford the treatment either out of pocket or via a "Cadillac" insurance plan. What is so wrong with that?

LOCOChief
07-01-2011, 09:11 AM
Ok but is it worth it to the government to pay the money just to extend your life by 4 months?

I think it is about time we have a serious discussion in this country about end of life and how we pay and handle the situation instead of demigod the issue like the stupid twit Palin did.


Hard to have a serious conversation if you've never personally faced the question.

Jaric
07-01-2011, 09:15 AM
That depends entirely on whose 4 months it is, and whose $100k it is.

If it's my 4 months, and your $100k, then yes it's definitely worth it. If it's the other way around...

mlyonsd
07-01-2011, 09:22 AM
Fair enough. Can we stop pretending that there won't be "death panels" who make these decisions, though? Whether or not these "death panels" are good or bad is up for debate, but you can't deny that they exist.

Bingo.

Dave Lane
07-01-2011, 09:22 AM
Also if this is the start of a better working and easily produced drug that say gives you 5-10 years more life for $5000, then it's a great breakthrough.

BucEyedPea
07-01-2011, 09:59 AM
1/3 of Medicare expenses are in the last six months of a person's life.

If you have a terminal diagnosis, at some point, palliative therapy is both more effective, and humane, than curative therapy.

Nice to see how you decide these things for others Mr. Rationing of the Death Panel.

FD
07-01-2011, 10:44 AM
I would like the freedom to make those determinations for myself based upon what I am willing to sacrifice in order to afford the treatment either out of pocket or via a "Cadillac" insurance plan. What is so wrong with that?

Nobody anywhere has said you shouldn't have that freedom.

BucEyedPea
07-01-2011, 10:52 AM
Nobody anywhere has said you shouldn't have that freedom.

Yes someone did. They don't have to use the exact word "freedom" ya' know to see it.

dirk digler
07-01-2011, 12:09 PM
Hard to have a serious conversation if you've never personally faced the question.

I have. So let's have a serious conversation if you are up to it.

HonestChieffan
07-01-2011, 02:19 PM
No one is required to take the treatment, right?

dirk digler
07-01-2011, 02:34 PM
No one is required to take the treatment, right?

No but from what I have read everybody that has prostate cancer wants this drug over chemo. I can see why too. Little or side effects. My dad had prostate cancer and it was hard on him getting chemo.

vailpass
07-01-2011, 02:39 PM
Is 100grand worth having a 1/3 of a year more with my family and friends.
Hell yes I'm first in line.

ClevelandBronco
07-01-2011, 02:57 PM
Is 100grand worth having a 1/3 of a year more with my family and friends.
Hell yes I'm first in line.

I'm with you. It'll cost each taxpayer less than a buck, and they'll have the satisfaction of knowing that they prolonged my life, regardless of the fact that I only get four more months to regard them as putzes.

vailpass
07-01-2011, 03:01 PM
Nobody anywhere has said you shouldn't have that freedom.

Are you telling a lie or just uninfomred?

vailpass
07-01-2011, 03:02 PM
I'm with you. It'll cost each taxpayer less than a buck, and they'll have the satisfaction of knowing that they prolonged my life, regardless of the fact that I only get four more months to regard them as putzes.

LMAO

FD
07-01-2011, 04:11 PM
Are you telling a lie or just uninfomred?

Neither.