First news item. Bristol Myers Squibbs drug, Yervoy, has been rejected by the UK Health Cost Agency.
About 30 percent of patients treated with the drug would have improved survival, with 10 percent potentially experiencing long-term benefits, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence said in a statement today, citing clinical specialists.
The drug costs about 80,000 pounds ($125,600) per patient, said the agency, known as NICE, which advises the National Health Service on whether drugs provide value for money. Yervoy is the first medicine proven to extend the lives of patients with advanced melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer.
Has Dendreon tried to get approval in the UK? Would it prove to be cost effective? Should the U.S. form a Cost Efficacy Agency within the FDA? Step A, approve or reject a drug. Step B, decide if the government is going to pay for it. If not, let the drug maker sell the approved drug on the free market. As BMSs mission statement goes, "Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global BioPharma company firmly focused on its Mission to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases." It is their job to deliver $100K+ drugs to people without government or insurance assistance.
News item number 2: Cargo Cult Scientst #1, Hwang Woo Suk has cloned a coyote.
What did we learn from his stem cell scandal? The disgust we may have for him is merely a personal feeling. It is not what motivates science. Yet we are now faced with a profound skepticism that will bring about the scientific method. Did he clone or not? How do we find out? At least we know that a peer review process isn't enough.
Time to grow. Biotech/Pharma drugs are getting too expensive. They are asking the sick and dying to assist them in extracting undue amounts of money from our government and insurance agencies. Hwang Woo Suk is claiming to have cloned again. They have cloned a dog and it is said that this was verified. It is time to see him hired by Geron. Assemble the same people who gave him the stamp of approval for his stem cell work and let them try again.