When the high cost of medicines might not be justified

THE pharmaceutical manufacturing industry has to be held accountable for the high price of new drugs threatening the sustainability of health systems worldwide, Australian medical ethicists say.

They cite new-generation hepatitis C agents, personalised cancer drugs and 11 compounds for rare diseases approved by the US Food and Drug Administration which cost more than $225,000 per patient per year.

In a commentary in the BMJ, the researchers from the University of Sydney’s Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine, challenge the notion that the cost of developing medicines