Hemophilia a ‘magical formula’ for high drug costs

The hemophilia drug market in the United States is saturated with 28 medications—and another 21 currently in development—to treat about 20,000 patients. But the money is right for drug companies, Kaiser Health News reports in a March 8 story.

The U.S. hemophilia drug market is worth $4.6 billion per year and annual medication costs per patient are around $270,000, according to the article. While many patients are covered through insurance, the clotting factor medications are among the most expensive of any condition for the U.S. healthcare system.

And insurers are reluctant to push back because of how it might look, a Harvard professor who studies prescription drug costs told KHN.

“It’s a magical formula: Lifesaving drug, child at risk of bleeding to death—it kind of casts anybody who looks at costs into the role of some evil Scrooge-like person,” said Jerry Avorn, MD. “The insurers don’t want to end up on the front page of the newspaper saying Little Timmy bled to death because his drug wasn’t covered.”

Read the full story below: