More than 100 doctors object to high cancer drug prices

In an <a href="http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196%2815%2900430-9/…; target="_blank">editorial</a> in <i>Mayo Clinic Proceedings</i>, 118 oncologists from leading cancer hospitals assert that cancer drug prices are too high and call for new regulations to help control them.

In an editorial in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 118 oncologists from leading cancer hospitals assert that cancer drug prices are too high and call for new regulations to help control them. Patients "have to make difficult choices between spending their incomes [and liquidating assets] on potentially lifesaving therapies or forgoing treatment to provide for family necessities," the doctors write. Because of this, between 10% and 20% of cancer patients do not take their treatment as prescribed. The oncologists assert that much more could be done to regulate prices. Among their suggestions are allowing Medicare to negotiate pricing directly with pharmaceutical companies and changing U.S. law to allow patients to import cancer drugs for personal use from other countries, including Canada. In addition, they recommend reforming the patent system to make it harder to prolong product exclusivity and using better regulation to prevent branded pharmaceutical companies from making deals with generic drug firms that would delay the introduction of less expensive generic drugs.