As Big Pharma shifts risk for drug discovery to start-ups, the acquisition and licensing of those discoveries serve as a hidden driver of medication cost. Consider Keytruda.
The latest advance in cancer treatment is the FDA's approval of Keytruda, a drug that targets cancer cells in a novel way. This marks a shift in how cancer is approached, while it turns the mere promise of new treatments into reality. This new genetic-based approach brings the future of personalized medicine into the present.
In August, Jimmy Carter was diagnosed with melanoma in his liver and brain. These lesions were addressed directly, he was put on Keytruda and now the former president is in remission. But since this new drug costs about $150,000 per year, we ask: Shouldn't we be talking about this?