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How Big Pharma prices their Drugs.
Cancer drugs are expected to be the fastest-growing drugs for Big Pharma in the next five years. We call it Oncology in the industry (Oncology is the study of Cancer).
According to Statista’s Health Market Outlook projections, Oncology will bring in 320.6 Billion dollars for Big Pharma, more than four times as compared to the drug coming in second place, Immunosuppressants.
The second category is Immunosuppressants, drugs that weaken the body's immune system. Some people may wonder why you would take drugs to weaken the immune system. These drugs are used to treat auto-immune diseases. An auto-immune disease is where the body's immune system goes haywire and starts attacking its healthy cells. Therefore, they take Immunosuppressants to weaken the body's immunity. Of course, you can imagine it comes with many other side effects.
In this chapter of PharmaFiles, I will reveal how Big Pharma prices its cancer drugs.
I was part of a global pricing and research team once to determine the "most optimal price" to launch a brand new cancer drug many years ago.
So, what is the meaning of "most optimal"?
Many people would think "most optimal" means that it is most affordable for most patients. However, that is not the case. Let me explain.
Cancer drugs are usually measured in something called "Progression-free survival". You often hear people talk about the Stages of Cancer. Here is the explanation for each of the stages.
stage 0 – the cancer is started and hasn't spread
Stage 1 – the tumour is small and hasn't spread anywhere
stage 2 – cancer has grown but hasn't spread
stage 3 – the tumour is larger and may have spread to the surrounding tissues
stage 4 – cancer has spread from where it started to at least one other body organ, also known as "metastatic" cancer
There are many studies on how long a person can survive on average when someone gets cancer. This is why sometimes a doctor tells patients, "You have six months left", or something along that lines.
Cancer drugs are measured in something called "Progression-free survival" or PFS. It means when they take medications, how long will the medicines extend their lives.
So, for example, if cancer patients do not take any treatments, they will live six months. If they take the medicines, they extend their lives to 15 months, giving them an extra nine months to live.
The rule of thumb to conduct pricing is this, for the extra nine months to live, how much are they willing to pay? Will people pay 50k per month to live for another nine months, which totals up to 450k? This is why cancer drugs are so expensive. It is NOT based on the cost of the drug. It is based on how much a person wants and can afford to pay to live a few more months.
We do all kinds of modelling to find the optimal profit point and ensure revenue is maximized according to the demographics. Then, based on projected profit, Big Pharma gives back some percentages to marketing, usually between 10-25%.
So, for example, if the drug is expected to pull in 5 billion per year, we use 500 million to do "donation" activities. Those are just marketing dollars used to create a narrative that Big Pharma is invested in health and wellness, including helping poor communities.
Another thing I find fascinating about cancer is how prevalent it is. Many years ago, around 1 in 4 people died globally because of cancer. Today it is approximately 1 in a little over three people.
Hundred years ago, it was approximately 1 in 100. There are many reasons why. Mainly the food we consume, especially the use of glyphosates (a widely used herbicide that controls weeds and grasses). There are also a lot of suspicions that childhood vaccines cause cancer.
Another interesting fact is there are a lot of natural remedies for cancer. But we have to be careful because there are a lot of fake treatments as well. After all, people want to profit from both sides.
During my career, I have spoken to many oncologists. As a result, I discovered some natural remedies for cancer that are well known amongst many oncologists but aren't publicized because there is not enough Big Pharma funding for them. But, of course, there are dissenting oncologists against this idea too.
The reason why there is no funding is that there is no money to be made. One of the actual natural remedies for cancer is fasting and a ketogenic diet.
Here's the premise if you look it up. Most cancer cells are metabolically inflexible. What is the meaning of metabolic flexibility? The healthy cells in our body use energy from carbohydrates, proteins or fats for energy. It's called metabolically flexible because you can train them to consume various energy sources.
The majority of cancer cells, however, are metabolically inflexible; they can only derive energy from sugar (carbohydrates). That is why you tend to starve off cancer cells in a ketogenic diet. Many surgeons know this. They recommend a keto diet before surgery if a tumour is too large.
The second thing is fasting - it triggers a process called "autophagy" in our body. Autophagy kicks in when you stop eating for 16 hours, and your body starts to consume itself. It starts by eating off the older or more diseased cells, such as cancer. That is why fasting helps in reducing cancer cells and preventing cancer. "Autophagy" won biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2016, but few people know about it because fasting is a terrible business for Pharma and the Food Industry.
Anyway, these are topics that many good doctors talk about, but there is no money to be made for pharma; that's why you don't hear them from the news.
Another example Big Pharma doesn't want you to know about is Dr Paul Marik's Protocol on Sepsis.
First, what is Sepsis? Sepsis is blood poisoning caused by bacterial or viral infection. When someone gets Sepsis, because it is blood "contamination", inflammation happens throughout the whole body - from fever to breathing difficulties, low blood pressure, fast heart rate and all kinds of symptoms.
In 2016, Dr Paul Marik, the world's second most published critical care physician, found a way to cure Sepsis through high doses of Vitamin C combined with several other old medicines instead of taking expensive branded Pharma drugs. You can watch his video below.
Dr Paul Marik also advocated for early treatment using Vitamin C for Covid Patients, but his license was taken away after that. Please read PharmaFiles #2 to understand how Big Pharma gags your doctors.