Profits before patients

Making a cheap drug expensive: Biotech giant Genzyme recently discolsed plans to pull it’s lukemia treatment Campath (alemtuzumab) from world-wide markets, in anticipation of ending its off-label, relatively inexpensive use as a treatment for multiple sclerosis. With plans in the works for the unveiling of a re-labeled,  but essentially unchanged version marketed specifically as an MS treatment under the name Lamtrada, Genzyme seeks to boost their profits from the drug from a measly $76 million to a much more satisfying $400 million. Genzyme is currently offering Campath to leukemia patients often at no charge, but is only allowing access to MS patients, for now, through clinical trials. It is estimated that the cost of Lamtrada could be as much as 20 times the cost of Campath. Multiple sclerosis patients already using Campath will find it no longer available until the far more expensive version is approved for sale. Read more at YCharts.

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