Oh Look, A Lifetime Addict w/ A $500,000 Bill
The Market Ticker - Commentary on The Capital Markets
2017-07-17 07:00 by Karl Denninger
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Oh Look, A Lifetime Addict w/ A $500,000 Bill
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This makes me vomit -- literally.

A breakthrough cancer therapy that can wipe out leukemia in some deathly ill children and young adults comes with an expensive, long-lasting side effect.

The blood cancer treatment, called CAR-T, is made by Novartis AG and is on the brink of approval after a panel of advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration backed it Wednesday in a 10-0 vote. It’s highly effective: In a clinical trial of patients who’d mostly run out of treatment options, 83 percent of patients who took it saw their disease go into remission.

breakthrough?  It sure is -- for Novartis.

You see, it works by killing off the B cells that, in their deranged state, cause the leukemia.  No deranged cells, no leukemia.  A win, right?

Not really.  Those same cells are responsible for the majority of the immune system's ability to respond, which means that killing them also destroys most of the body's immune system capacity at the same time and, what's worse, in order for the cancer to remain in remission the damage has to remain too -- that is, it's permanent.

The fix for that is a custom-designed therapy for each person so-affected that can cost $10,000 per dose.  Oh, and since the condition the "therapy" caused is permanent you need that custom-designed therapy for the rest of your life, meaning that the lifetime cost is going to easily be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and may reach well into the millions.

This "breakthrough" has all the markers for a massive extraction racket.  Kids are cute, and kids with cancer are unassailable lest you be called a monster.  The therapy does appear to work, but it works by destroying an essential part of the body's immune system which then has to be replaced or the person dies of some other disease that would not be serious for a not-compromised person at all.   In other words a cold or the flu would kill such a person without said continuing lifetime treatment.

Folks, just because we can do a thing does not mean we should do it.  "Conquering" leukemia by killing off the part of the body's immune system that has gone insane and caused the disease in the first place is only sane as a treatment modality if what you kill off via the treatment isn't necessary.

Sadly the part of the body's systems you kill off in this instance is necessary, and while we can attempt to "replace" it via technology the cost of doing so is hideous and impossible to consider as a matter of routine.  Yet here we are, with the FDA likely to "approve" this "therapy" and in doing so it will set in motion a monstrous extraction machine that will force the people of this country to pay for every single sick kid that gets this therapy for the rest of their life.

This crap has to stop.  It is part and parcel of why our medical system is destroying the country and that pharmaceutical companies are searching for and testing so-called "therapies" that come with universally hideous and outrageously-expensive "side effects" which then inures back to the benefit of said pharmaceutical companies is an outrage that must not be allowed to stand -- cute kids notwithstanding.

Go ahead and call me a monster -- I'm used to it.  I take the moniker with full knowledge that by being said monster I prevent the destruction of the entire nation's finances, and thus on balance it's worth the name-calling that I'm sure will ensue.

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User Info Oh Look, A Lifetime Addict w/ A $500,000 Bill in forum [Market-Ticker]
Whitehat
Posts: 38
Incept: 2017-06-27

New York City
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What ever happened to, "First, do no harm?"

While we are sure that there are dedicated and professional people at the FDA (Fraud and Deception Agency), what the hell good is this organization? Is the standard that a treatment, medical device or substance will not kill you immediately?

Oh, forgot that this is the same organization that thinks a component of bathroom caulk is safe to install in women's bodies.

We should abolish most regulation and allow the civil and criminal, where appropriate, systems deal with things. Approval and regulatory agencies are always avenues for corruption.

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There are two ways to be rich: One is by acquiring much, and the other is by desiring little.
Oldno7
Posts: 2582
Incept: 2008-11-14

RECALL STATE USA
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Kind of says that we can cure you but then we have to kill you. Not really a win win. There is no way I would opt for this treatment and ruin my family's finances. This really isn't ethical IMO. Of course if you are a billionaire no worries right?

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IT'S THE SPENDING STUPID The US must become less a government of men, and more a government of LAW.When people lose everything and have nothing left to lose they lose it -Gerald Celente
Steph4liberty
Posts: 2384
Incept: 2010-10-22

Raleigh, NC
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Why does the therapy cost $10,000? What on earth makes it so expensive? That's just ludicrous.

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"Man will never be free until the last Banker is strangled with the entrails of the last Politician" - unknown

"This isn't a market anymore, it's a computer game." - Drench
Tickerguy
Posts: 149209
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The secondary therapy is individualized; it has to be, because each person's immune system is individual. While it could be (quite a lot!) cheaper than it is today it will probably never be reasonably affordable for a person of middle-class means, even if paying cash, on a perpetual "rest of your life" basis.

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Winding it down.
Steph4liberty
Posts: 2384
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Raleigh, NC
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I still don't see where the cost per dose should be that high. I can see a one time initial cost being higher but not every dose unless they're having to redesign the treatment each time.

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"Man will never be free until the last Banker is strangled with the entrails of the last Politician" - unknown

"This isn't a market anymore, it's a computer game." - Drench
Gbacker
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http://www.bloodjournal.org/content/121/....

Feverfew->parthenolide....may be helpful.
DMAPT is a water-soluble derivative.
Tickerguy
Posts: 149209
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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Quote:
I still don't see where the cost per dose should be that high. I can see a one time initial cost being higher but not every dose unless they're having to redesign the treatment each time.

Well it "shouldn't" be in some regards but not others -- I believe the secondary therapy is under patent in some regard, but even if it wasn't it would still be expensive.

Not everything can be or is cheap. Some things do cost a lot of money, but of course when you start with things being inflated in price by 10x or more a whole lot of things get unreasonable that otherwise wouldn't be.

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Winding it down.
Thorvold
Posts: 190
Incept: 2013-09-12

NY
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The cost sharing of medical expenses of all kinds, including those involved in treating tragic though rare diseases, end-of-life care, etc. is imposed on so many people who really can't afford to share the costs of anything. As this harm is spread among many and its effects may take years before the affected families crash and burn, MSM will focus on individual cases where immediate and positive results can be presented and the negative impacts ignored or minimized. Stress and associated health care problems that result from being impoverished by our health care system (racket) are very real.
Ckaminski
Posts: 4106
Incept: 2011-04-08

Mass-Hole!
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> thinks a component of bathroom caulk is safe to install in women's bodies.

Without naming the component I can't get outraged.

:-)
Tsherry
Posts: 852
Incept: 2008-12-09

Spokane WA
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>>Without naming the component I can't get outraged.

:-)>>

"Alex, what is 'silicone' for one hundred?"
Londoncat
Posts: 90
Incept: 2012-03-02

Kansas
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My 34 year-old neighbor was patient #3 for this CAR-T therapy 2 years ago down at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston (her name is Emily Dumler if you want to look up her story). It certainly saved her life, as she had non-Hodgkin lymphoma and six rounds of chemo and a stem-cell transplant failed to kill off the cancer.

Lucky for her, she qualified for this experimental CAR-T treatment, but the side effects were VERY dangerous (as Karl mentioned, your immune system gets knocked down to ZERO and she had brain swelling, very high fever, and severe neurological side effects (scrambled thoughts, speaking gibberish, amnesia,) that they couldn't guaranty would self-correct (although they did for her). It certainly saved her life as the doctors only gave her 6 months to live prior to being accepted for this experimental treatment . . . but, interestingly enough, when she got the news that she only had 6 months to live, I asked her what alternative treatments the "WORLDS BEST oncologists" suggested for her. Her response with almost a look of puzzlement . . . "NOTHING".

No suggestion to try to starve the cancer with a ketogenic diet. No suggestion of using that ketogentic diet in conjunction with metformin, DCA, hyperberic oxygen, hyperthermia, etc. . . all alternative treatments (many in conjunction with each other as an adjunct to the traditional standard of care, or used on their own while rejecting traditional chemo and/or radiation) that have recently shown remarkable success in neutralizing (and in some instances, dare I say "curing") incurable cancers. I guess when the costs of these treatments range in the hundreds or single thousands of dollars a year instead of millions (I think a month's worth of metformin can be had for around $4 at the Walmart RX and you can find hyperberic oxygen treatments for around $350 in many metro areas), there is no interest from the overwhelming majority of the medical community in suggesting this "last" alternative to their pharmacology forms of treatment. The old motto of "First, do no harm" apparently has an adder of "so long as you line the pocket books of the hospitalz and pharmaceutical companies".

I don't want to gum up Karl's comments sections with tons of links to all of these studies showing the profound effects of eating the way Karl eats along with very cheap treatments for battling cancer, so if you are interested, just search your favorite social media source to search for folks like Dr. Dominic D'Agostino, Dr. Angela Poff, and Dr. Adrian Scheck as they post on these amazing alternative cancer-treating studies they are conducting.
Beango
Posts: 699
Incept: 2009-06-05

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Your'e not a monster, you live in reality. In reality, everyone dies. Some people are given a short stick in life, and that sucks. But it does not mean we should succumb to emotional hysteria and dole out insane amounts of money to these *******s in white coats.
Londoncat
Posts: 90
Incept: 2012-03-02

Kansas
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By the way - I forgot to mention the "costs" of Emily's cancer and CAR-T treatments. While she didn't break down the costs between the various treatments, the six rounds of chemo, stem-cell transplant and the CAR-T treatment over a 2 year period exceeded $3 million (with her insurance and research funding for the CAR-T experimental treatment picking up the overwhelming majority of it).

She is lucky that she found herself in a insurance system that was willing to shell out the money for this. I am of the opinion like most on this site. If I don't win the genetic lottery and my ticket is going to get punched earlier than I would have liked, I see what insurance will cover (expecting nothing beyond the "standard" chemo/radiation treatments that attempt to kill the cancer before it kills me) and then it is an economic decision from there for me and my family if I have saved enough and the cost is worth the potential outcome (i.e. is it worth paying $400k for a drug that has a track record of extending life by 6 months? - maybe, if $400k is just a drop in the ol' money bucket and it doesn't mean just another six months confined to a hospital bed and hoping the MRSA doesn't kill me before the cancer does).
Lenguado
Posts: 2046
Incept: 2010-01-12
A True American Patriot!
Orlando, FL
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Quote:
exceeded $3 million (with her insurance and research funding for the CAR-T experimental treatment picking up the overwhelming majority of it).

She is lucky that she found herself in a insurance system that was willing to shell out the money for this.

Not to worry. The rest of the folks with her insurance company 'Picked Up the Tab'!

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I just realized... they aren't saying, "Keynesian Economics"
they're saying "Kenyansian Economics". Grass Huts for everyone!
smiley
Welcome to historys first Double Dip Depression

Reason: Meant to include the 2nd line . . .
Cbracket
Posts: 17
Incept: 2012-09-27

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Modern medicine is partly responsible for the proliferation of these expensive conditions. By wiping out the scourge of opportunistic disease which plagued mankind throughout its existence, we have enable otherwise likely casualties to survive, to propagate and to pass on further weakened genetics. Plague has a way of reinforcing the strength of the species. I'm not claiming I'd be a survivor of any new plague, just recognizing the unfortunate genetic side-effect of medical advancements.

But AI will have its way with us one day as the cold calculation of a human's value will be balanced with their costs and continuing care. AI will check the billowing medicare costs, and the care of young invalids and others with no likely productive outlook.
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