A literal cure for cancer, funded by the charitable donations of ordinary Americans, has been stolen by Big Pharma and will now be price-gouged by 3,000 percent and dangled over the heads of the same Americans who funded the groundbreaking research.
Gene therapy is the process of re-engineering human cells to either include missing DNA to cure genetic conditions or to arm the immune system to seek and destroy disease. After decades of research funded by charitable donations, scientific breakthroughs in the area of gene therapy mean the technology can provide a single shot cure to many of the diseases that have confounded humanity throughout the ages.
According to experts, diseases including diabetes, variants of cancer, blindness, deafness, and even some of the negative effects of aging can be cured, healed, or reversed through use of cutting edge gene therapy.
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Just as a new dawn was promising to break for humanity, Big Pharma has stepped in and scooped up the technology, intent on hijacking and profiteering off the desperation of those who are most in need of the treatment.
The cutting-edge treatment – even under experimental conditions – was never going to be cheap. Medical researchers who developed the treatment told the New York Times that it costs approximately $20,000 per patient to produce engineered T-cells.
In a 2012 article titled, “In Girl’s Last Hope, Altered Immune Cells Beat Leukemia,” the NYT reported that:
Dr. June said that producing engineered T-cells costs about $20,000 per patient — far less than the cost of a bone-marrow transplant. Scaling up the procedure should make it even less expensive, he said, but he added, “Our costs do not include any profit margin, facility depreciation costs or other clinical care costs, and other research costs.”
Fast forward a few years and Big Pharma giant Novartis has swooped in, hijacked the technology and is now set to profiteer off the dying. According to the Washington Post, industry experts anticipate a markup leaving the price tag for patients between $300,000-600,000.
In a July 2017 Washington Post article titled, “First gene therapy — ‘a true living drug’ — on the cusp of FDA approval,” its reported that:
Novartis has not disclosed the price for its therapy, but analysts are predicting $300,000 to $600,000 for a one-time infusion. Brad Loncar, whose investment fund focuses on companies that develop immunotherapy treatments, hopes the cost does not prompt a backlash. “CAR-T is not the EpiPen,” he said. “This is truly pushing the envelope and at the cutting edge of science.”
A literal cure for cancer, dangled over the dying
Big-pharmaceutical companies are now set to plunder billions from the very same people who donated their hard-earned dollars to the charitable organizations who funded the research.
Impropriety among big-pharmaceutical corporations has ranged from multi-billion dollar bribery rackets, to marketing drugs to patients for uses they were never approved for by regulators, to covering up known dangerous side-effects of medications they produce and sell.
Big Pharma has been embroiled in a series of price-gouging controversies over equipment and treatments in recent years. The hijacking of and profiteering from gene therapy treatment is a new low. No matter how bad you thought Big Pharma were, this is worse.