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Dear all --

Thanks to Bryan/Rachel of UAEM for forwarding for the articles belo:

Kindly see below for a potent example of the experts banding together
and self-organizing to take a stand for NCDs. Animates the power of
knowledge and collective action by professionals!

Just now -- group of over 30 chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)
experts, including key scientists and health professionals involved in
the discovery and clinical trials of the medication, have submitted a
note the journal Blood to protest the high prices mantained by
manufacturers. The letter involves senior leaders at leading cancer
centers across the globe.

http://bloodjournal.hematologylibrary.org/content/early/2013/04/23/blood-2013...

The letter builds on a protest done at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer
Center last year when physicians and health workers protested the use
of a medication for colon CA (Zaltrap) that costed 2x compared to a
cheaper alternative. The manufacturer, in response, cut the price by
half.

Both initiatives were recently profiled in the NYTimes.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/26/business/cancer-physicians-attack-high-drug...

The authors highlight the moral implications of market justice vs
social justice in a compelling way. Lessons here for the YP movement
to keep organizing, and taking a stand, building on the Manifesto on
NCDs and other position statements for mental health, essential drugs,
COI and equity, action and targets in NCD/21st century public health
platforms.



--
ABSTRACT
As a group of more than 100 experts in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML),
we draw attention to the high prices of cancer drugs, with the particular
focus on the prices of approved tyrosine kinase inhibitors for the treatment
of CML. This editorial addresses the multiple factors involved in cancer
drug pricing, their impact on individual patients and healthcare policies,
and
argues for the need to lower the prices of cancer drugs to allow more
patients to afford them and to maintain sound long-term healthcare policies.

--

<snip>
The doctrine of Justum Pretium, or just price, refers to the “fair value” of
commodities. In deciding the relationship between price and worth (or
value), it advocates that, by moral necessity, price must reflect worth.
This
doctrine may be different from the doctrine of free market economies where
prices reflect “what the market bears”, or what one is willing to pay for a
product. Which doctrine is better? One could argue that when a commodity
affects the lives or health of individuals, just price should prevail
because of
the moral implications. Examples include the price of bread during famines,
polio vaccine, ivermectin for river blindness (provided for free by Merck
and
estimated to save the vision of 30 million individuals), treatments of
chronic
medical conditions (cardiovascular, hypertension, diabetes, tuberculosis,
multiple sclerosis, etc.). When commodities are not essential to life or
suffering, what the market will bear is appropriate (competition will take
care of price), because it is not restrained by ethical considerations.
Examples include the price of a Picasso painting, a luxury cruise, a
two-week
vacation in New York (or 4 weeks in Houston), a Bentley car, a Brioni
suit, etc.

 
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