A new report from The New York Times indicates that almost three billion dollars!!!!!!! are wasted each year as cancer drugs are trashed. Apparently many drugs are packaged in containers that hold more than the usual dose, and the extra must be thrown away. I am speechless.
Given my increasingly cynical view of all this, it is hard not to believe that the pharma companies know perfectly well what they are doing. This would seem to be a very clever way of increasing sales. Maybe there is another explanation, but one does not spring into my mind.
Here is the start and a link to read more:
Waste in Cancer Drugs Costs $3 Billion a Year, a Study Says
By GARDINER HARRISMARCH
WASHINGTON — The federal Medicare program and private health insurers waste nearly $3 billion every year buying cancer medicines that are thrown out because many drug makers distribute the drugs only in vials that hold too much for most patients, a group of cancer researchers has found.
The expensive drugs are usually injected by nurses working in doctors’ offices and hospitals who carefully measure the amount needed for a particular patient and then, because of safety concerns, discard the rest.
If drug makers distributed vials containing smaller quantities, nurses could pick the right volume for a patient and minimize waste. Instead, many drug makers exclusively sell one-size-fits-all vials, ensuring that many smaller patients pay thousands of dollars for medicine they are never given, according to researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who published a study on Tuesday in BMJ, formerly known as the British Medical Journal.