Price of 40-year-old cancer drug raised from $50 to $768 a pill

The cost of lomustine, a veteran cancer drug, have skyrocketed after a startup bought the rights to it and hiked prices 1,400 percent.

According to the Wall Street Journal, lomustine was sold by Bristol-Myers Squib for years under the brand name CeeNU at a price of about $50 a capsule for the highest dose. The drugmaker sold lomustine in 2013 to a little-known Miami startup called NextSource, which proceeded to hike lomustine's price nine times since. It now charges about $768 per pill for the medication.

According to an analysis done for the Journal by Truveen Health Analytics and Elsevier, NextSource this year raised prices for the drug, which it rebranded as Gleostine, by 12 percent in November following a 20 percent increase in August.

Nextsource CEO Robert Dicrisci, pictured, says they base pricing on "product-development costs, regulatory-agency fees, and the benefit the treatment delivers to patients." As it didn't develop the drug and regulatory fees are not up 1,400%, that leaves the last part of his formulation. It is, in all fairness, a good way of suggesting that your life is surely worth every penny you have.

Loading...