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Big Pharma sues Canada for attempting to lower price of $700k drug course that turns hospitals into slave plantations


Medical slaves

(NaturalNews) Government officials in Canada who are trying to stop a U.S.-based pharmaceutical firm from bilking patients with rare blood disorders out of hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, have found themselves at the center of a major international lawsuit.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals of Cheshire, Connecticut, is attempting to sue the Canadian government for trying to force down the prices of its Soliris (eculizumab) drug for paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and atypical haemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), which costs nearly $700,000 annually per patient with one or both of these diseases.

Soliris is the only drug currently produced by Alexion, and its cost has remained stagnant for the roughly six years it's been on the market. The Canadian health care system is reportedly tired of shelling out tens of millions of dollars per patient to cover the outrageous costs associated with the prescription of Soliris, and is thus working towards a lower cost solution.

But Alexion is adamantly opposed to decreasing the price of Soliris, which has earned the company some $6 billion since it was first brought to the commercial market. And for folks like Marie-Eve Chainey of Ottawa, this anti-patient resistance could spell the end of her treatment protocol.

"What do I do?" asked Chainey, speaking to Canada's CBC News about Soliris, which is currently the world's most expensive pharmaceutical drug.

Chainey suffers from aHUS, which caused her kidneys to stop working some 14 years ago. She currently has to undergo dialysis six days per week just to stay alive, which severely inhibits her ability to travel and work as a nurse.

"Am I mad at the government for not covering it?" she added, noting that she's one of many currently suffering from a lack of coverage due to Soliris' outrageous prices in Canada. "Am I mad at the company for asking $700,000 a year? I don't know."

Canadians outraged over Alexion's greed, which has turned patients into medical slaves

At issue is whether or not Soliris should be priced so expensively, especially in places like Canada where the government (using taxpayer dollars, of course), has to foot the bill. There are only about 100 people in Canada that have either aHUS or PNH, but many of them are having trouble gaining adequate coverage.

When patients can't pay the price for Soliris, they have no other options for treatment, because nobody has three-quarters of a million dollars lying around to pay for a year's worth of medicine. And the Canadian health system only has so much cash flow to pay the exorbitant prices for Soliris, leaving patients as abandoned medical slaves in a massive patient plantation run by greedy drug corporations like Alexion.

The Canadian government has tried to work with Alexion to make Soliris more affordable, but the drug giant remains insistent that its prized blockbuster potion is worth every penny that's charged. And the company has resorted to suing Canada in order to protect this cash-cow from being slaughtered on behalf of suffering patients.

Leading the charge to lower the cost of Soliris is Canada's Patented Medicine Prices Review Board, which contends that the drug is priced in excess and costs more in Canada than anywhere else in the world. "The board launched hearings in June to force Alexion to lower its price" reported CBC News, which could result in the company's having to reimburse provinces that have overpaid for the drug to cover patients in need.

This is the price of losing all threads of humanity.

Sources for this article include:

CBC.ca

CBC.ca

Outsourcing-Pharma.com

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