Should Drug Approval Decisions Consider Cost?

A newly approved cystic fibrosis drug has an annual wholesale cost of $259,000.

A newly approved cystic fibrosis drug has an annual wholesale cost of $259,000.

J.PMorgan Chase estimated that global sales of this drug could teach $1.6 billion next year and $4.2 billion by 2020. That's a lot of money for a medication that some members of an FDA advisory committee believed had modest effectiveness.

This drug’s hefty price tag raises a few questions, including:

  • How long can our health care system sustain high prices for drug that only benefit a small number of patients?
  • Will some type of drug rationing result from the high costs?
  • Will there be legislation that requires drug approvals based on cost effectiveness?

What do you think?