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$30,000-a-Month Cancer Drug

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

$30,000-a-Month Cancer Drug

A newly approved chemotherapy drug will cost about $30,000 a month, a sign that the prices of cancer medicines are continuing to rise despite growing concern about health care costs.

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
Preparing an anticancer drug. Many oncologists question the value of expensive anticancer drugs that can cost $30,000 a month but do not prolong life more than a few months.

Minh Uong/The New York Times
The price of the new drug, called Folotyn, is at least triple that of other drugs that critics have said are too expensive for the benefits they offer to patients. The colon cancer drug Erbitux, for instance, costs $10,000 a month and the drug Avastin about $8,800 when used to treat lung cancer.

The price of Folotyn “seems way higher than I heard of before,” Robert L. Erwin, president of the Marti Nelson Cancer Foundation, a patient advocacy group. “I can’t imagine there not being a backlash against the pricing.”

Read the whole story here:

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6694
Joined: Feb 2009

Well I'm not sure if the price is rising or not, but one of my two week sessions was almost $15,000 not including the nurse care and I was doing it twice a month. That alone was over $30,000. I agree things need to be reformed in health care big time especially with so much being charged for drugs, but I don't want to see it come down to "government run". I had cancer, I fear for a government taking over my insurance.


KATE58's picture
Posts: 300
Joined: Nov 2009

All I can say is I am on medicare a 'GOVERNMENT RUN INSURANCE' and I have gotten better care
than I ever did on private insurance, which was always turning down treatments or drugs as too expensive.Medicare has never once even questioned a treatment or drug.
60% of the U.S population is on government insurance already.
The poor get help,the rich can afford to pay their own way,the middle class gets screwed.

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

I love your response!

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

I'm not on medicare, but while I was at a Dr. appt today, my onc said that regardless of one's political view on the health care reform debate, he said we have to admit that medicare, which is a government run healthcare, covers far more than most private insurance companies do. He said Blue Cross is the absolute worst. He says he never has trouble getting medications approved for his medicare patients, but often does for patients with other insurance companies- especially Blue Cross. (scary- my ability to stay with Aetna as a
COBRA status runs out in another year and then we will have to use the insurance from my husband's work- Blue Cross- I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to it).
VA insurance, on the other hand, which is military but still under government, isn't so great from what I hear.

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008


Just thought of another thing to share for those of you who aren't aware (I wasn't)...

WalMart has many generic medications available for literally $4.00 a month. I just started on Lovastatin and since I needed 60 pills for the month, I paid a whopping eight dollars for the month's supply- less than my copay would have been with insurance!
I first checked it at Rite Aid and the same exact prescription there would have cost $65.99.
I guess not too bad compared to the cost of some drugs, but definitely more than Walmart's $8!

If you take any meds that come in generic, go on Walmart's pharmacy website and you can see their alphabetical list of the generic drugs they have for just $4 a month- it's actually a pretty big list.


John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

Kim -

Down here in Florida, the home insurance company "Citizens Ins"
is the Florida government company. They established it for those
that couldn't get home insurance from commercial companies.

After the hurricanes down here, my brother-in-law's home insurance
was cancelled by the company he had for years and years. He never
put in any claims, but they dropped him due to "risk factors". He got
"Citizen" to insure his home very quickly.

That is exactly what is happening to our health insurance. Each year
the commercial companies chop away benefits and raise premiums,
and don't hesitate to drop "high risk" clients. It's not much different
than car insurance.

My BC/BS was provided by the company I retired from, and
the benefits had always exceeded any other's.

Unfortunately, they too started to cut back, and began raising the
premiums that my former employer had been paying. Now, new
employees will not be getting the full package, and likely will not
have any insurance as part of their retirement package.

I am now on medicare, and the BC/BS is secondary; new retirees
will only have medicare.

I don't like Socialism, but public schools, social security, and health care
are three things that I would support to my dying day.

The "private sector" has failed us more than once; those three
aforementioned items have yet to fail us, in spite of those that
try so hard to make it fail.

Sorry for the rant.... Wasn't yellin' at you, though.... I just had to
type all that; get it out of my fingers....ya'know?

I feel soooo much better now!

Loveya' kid! Stay well!

PGLGreg's picture
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

It's up to the company, Allos, what to charge for their drug, isn't it? If they've set the price above what it's worth, they won't sell enough of it, and they'll have to lower their price. (This is so obvious, I feel silly saying it.)


KATE58's picture
Posts: 300
Joined: Nov 2009

That theory works with paper goods or potato chips etc,but NOT lifesaving drugs.they charge those prices because people will always pay them.They make deals with insurance companies for lower prices,then stick it to the uninsured and underinsured doubling prices.

The pharmacutical companies made deals with the canandian government to sell them drugs real cheap,then made it practically illegal for U.S. citizens to buy drugs in canada.

AND they won't make the same deals with the U.S. government,'cause it will cut into those HUGE profits and bonuses pharm companies make.

CherylHutch's picture
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

Hey Kate58, we have never met here on CSN... it's been awhile since I participated on these boards. Too many politics got involved with some folk feeling they know a lot more than others and making sure they let them know it. I don't have time for that kind of nonsense and it was real thick in here for some time, so I ended up leaving and taking my chats elsewhere ;)

But I have noticed a few of your posts here on the boards (I've been searching for a CSN friend to get her email address)... and I just had to say that you are such a breath of fresh air! I love your smile... and what you have to say has been so along the lines of what I believe myself :)

Sorry, I haven't seen your post for when you first joined but am assuming that you are one of us semi-colons, which I'm sorry to hear, but hey... the fact you've found others in a similar predicament, all I can say is "Welcome aboard!!"

As for the whole drug thing... I'll be the first to say I don't really understand the ins and outs and politics of the pharmaceutical industry. I do know a heck of a lot of drugs, both anti-cancer and anti-everything else are manufactured in the USA. On the other hand, I also know a lot of these same US companies have plants here in Canada and they are manufactured here as well. Also, Canada has some of their own plants and manufacture a bunch of meds that aren't produced in the States but are exported to the States (I think there's a lot of importing/exporting that goes on in both countries). What the deals are made between the two countries, or more important I think, what the deals are made between the pharmaceutical giants, I don't know... but I can report as a Canadian living in the province of BC what the access is to drugs... and from a patient's perspective, the cost is not our concern.

Yes, there are all these stories that pop up about Canadians dying, waiing for treatments (such exaggeration). One of the popular ones in the "Cancer" circles is that Canadians can't get certain cancer fighting drugs, one of the popular ones being "Avastin". Well, I'm a Canadian and I'm fighting cancer ... and no matter what drug my oncologist prescribes, I get it. There is NEVER any wait because someone has said it's not available or, as a Canadian, I'm not eligible for it.

Oh, I did have one wait... back when I was on the 5FU pump and then was going to be doing 6 weeks of daily radiation. My onc wanted to change me from the pump to the oral pill. My extended health plan (yes, I have one of those... it's Blue Cross, a private insurance company, not unlike those down in the US. As a matter of fact, I think Blue Cross IS a US company) balked at paying for the oral pill form... after all, they were paying for me to be on the 5FU pump, so why should they now pay for the oral form? Yes, the oral form is expensive. So they figured our provincial Medical Services Plan (government subsidized) should cover the cost. So there was some back and forth discussion between the government subsidized plan and the private insurance as to WHO was going to pay for it. There was NEVER any discussion about "Well, screw it, we aren't going to pay for it, so the patient will have to cover the cost". And to think I got frustrated because the two of them were hashing it out, while I was actually taking the medication and getting my zaps of radiation every day. In the end, the private insurance company ended up paying for it, since it was just a continuation of the chemo I was on before the radiation and would be going back to after the radiation treatments were through.

So because of stories like the above, those who are against National healthcare LOVE to alter the stories to say how horrid National Healthcare is... even though it was the private insurance company that started the disagreement in the first place (their argument was that if I, the patient DIDN'T have the Extended Health coverage, the government subsidized insurance would have to cover it, so they should cover it now)

YES, of course, there is going to be the occasional person who falls through the system... whether the fault of their doctors not pursuing it, or their condition is such that any kind of delay ends up being deadly. Just try and tell me this doesn't happen in the US? And yes, because each PROVINCE manages their own Provincial Healthcare system, you will find differences between provinces. What is available in BC may not be available in Ontario... but because of the Canadian Healthcare Act, all Canadians get equal access to basic medical care and treatments. When a new drug first comes out on the scene, it's not unusual that one province may have access and approve it before another province. All depends on supply and demand and god knows what other decisions are made.

So I can only laugh at the ignorance when someone screws that around and causes (or tries to) panic about a National Health Care system and how evil it is because just look at Canada... "they don't have access to Avastin" (a drug all Cancer patients are aware of).... and they take that from an old story back when Avastin was first new on the scene.

Those same people don't mention how there are people right here on CSN who have gotten really depressed because they are losing their house, their private health care insurance is expiring and they don't know how they are going to carry on with their treatments or get to see their doctors. Uh, not one of them is Canadian, just for the record. For some reason those stories don't get the same focus or importance as repeating stories about how horrid Canada's "Government Run" Health care is.

Well, as a Canadian, I wouldn't change my horrid Canadian Healthcare Insurance for any other insurance coverage. I have been fighting this battle as a Stage IV cancer patient for 3 years now... and my grand total out of pocket has been $212 for TV rental when I was in the hospital for my various surgeries. I am not broke, I'm on LTD (I was lucky enough to be working for a company that had LTD as an employee benefit) and I'm doing really really well all things considered (haven't had to be on chemo since Oct 2007).

Here is an interesting post from another board... from a fellow in San Francisco (yes, he is an American, this is not Canadian propaganda):

I don't know why we keep pretending that our health care system is superior to that of Canada.

Theirs is universal. Ours is not.

We have pre-existing disease restrictions. They do not.

They rank No. 8 in average life expectancy. We rank No. 34.

** SOURCE: CIA World Factbook, 2009 **

To be precisely up to date:

US average life expectancy: 78.11 years
Canadian average life expectancy: 81.23 years

This is the difference between health care for profit, and health care for people. We believe that cancer is a profit center. They believe it is a disease.

The US offers much of which to be deeply proud. Compared to Canada? Our health care is simply not in the same league.

The best proof? THEY LIVE LONGER THAN WE DO. Doubt it? Just ask the CIA. And then visit them in Vancouver, and see one of the cleanest and most beautiful cities in the world.

We're not the only people who know how to do things right.


Paula G.'s picture
Paula G.
Posts: 596
Joined: Apr 2009

Glad to see you back on the board Cheryl. I've missed you. Paula

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hey Cheryl,

It's great to see you back again!!

Lisa :)

usakat's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

According to a New York Times article, Genentech and it’s partner Roche, spent over $2.25 billion on research and development (formulate, manufacture, patents, FDA approvals, extensive testing and trials, mass production, and marketing) to bring the life extending – life saving drug Avastin to market for stage IV colon cancer patient use. Genentech and Roche planned to spend an additional $1 billion to test Avastin for treatment of earlier stage colon cancers. Protocols for testing and trials are required and regulated by U. S. Food and Drug Administration - FDA.

Costly Cancer Drug Offers Hope, but Also a Dilemma

California Biomedical Research Association reports that it takes on average 12 years for pharmaceuticals to move from the first stage of laboratory research to approval for wide spread patient use. They also report that a mere ten percent of drugs developed in a laboratory ever reach human clinical trials, and only one percent is ultimately approved for human use. Thomas Edison said about his invention, the light bulb, “I haven't failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work.” Developing pharmaceuticals, especially cancer drugs and the new biologic drugs, is very much like Edison’s development of the light bulb.

New Drug Development Process Fact Sheet

As for me, I’m grateful that the really smart people we rely on to develop new life saving cancer treatments forge ahead in spite of frustrating failure rates and bring more promising treatments to cancer patients every year. I’m grateful there are companies out there like Genentech and Roche, and Sanofi-Aventis - Sanofi-Aventis tested and produced the Oxaliplatin and Roche developed, tested and produced the Xeloda I took for my cancer. It is because of their innovation, investment and dedication that many, many cancer patients are living longer and many have been completely cured. As for me, this January will mark my third year cancer free and as a person with HNPCC / Lynch Syndrome, who very likely will face cancer again, I’m counting on the continuing innovation that will help extend my life and the lives of my family who also have HNPCC. I’m also hoping and praying that the exciting innovation we’ve witnessed the last several years will continue full steam ahead so that many here at CSN and elsewhere might finally get that life saving treatment they have waited and prayed for.

How many here have been on Avastin? Oxaliplatin? Erbitux? Are you grateful to those investors who made it possible for scientists and pharmaceutical companies to make those drugs available for yours or your family or friends’ use? Where would we be if we didn’t have those drugs? I know my grandmother who died of metastatic colon cancer, as well as her younger sister who also died from colon cancer, didn’t have the choices, the options, and the hope we have today.

The Wall Street Journal interviewed Genentech’s CEO, biochemist Dr. Arthur D. Levinson, who sheds some light on drug pricing, specifically Avastin, from the manufacturer’s point of view (see attached link). Last month Bioworld Today reported the profit margin for Genentech’s Avastin is approximately 20%. That 20% profit margin allows Genentech to further their research and development efforts with Avastin and other new promising drugs and treatments. (On a personal note, I worked for the construction company that built Genentech’s manufacturing facility for Avastin – the construction cost was $380 million taking over 2.9 million man hours to complete = $380 million for one building for one drug - Avastin).

How Genentech Wins At Blockbuster Drugs

Dr. Levinson is quoted in the Wall Street Interview, “…you can audit our books. Our margins are respectable, but not off the chart. They are not Microsoft margins; they are not Oracle's margins, even.”

Apple’s profit margin for their iPod products range from 40% to nearly 75%. Even with huge profit margins people line up to get their hands on the latest models, often lining up the night before release dates, camping on sidewalks to receive the latest in iPod innovation. And guess what? There are no picket signs or demands to Apple to lower their prices to the public. In fact this holiday’s gift giving season, just like the last several years, iPod will be a leading gift given and received without protest.

As for potato chips? Frito Lay is enjoying approximately 25% profit this year, representing 63% of sales and 60% profit for Frito Lay’s parent company, PepsiCo. Why aren’t we railing against Chester Cheetah, Frito Kid or W.C. Frito?

As for the difference of drug costs between Canada and the U. S., a large factor is that Canada uses price fixing, so pharmaceutical companies negotiate their rates for Canadians, while in the U. S. the prices are negotiated and set by reimbursable rates from insurance companies, and Medicare and Medicaid. When Avastin was new to the market Canadian patients did not have access to it because it was refused by the Canadian government ( Nova Scotia Rejects Funding for Avastin ). While the Canadian government eventually approved Avastin for use, patients pay for it themselves, unless they have purchased their own prescription drug plan. One of our members here at CSN, Wanda23, turned to fundraising to help pay for her mother’s Avastain in Canada. Sadly, Wanda’s mom died last year on February 26 – you can view her story at youtube.com. For the approximately 85% of Americans who do have insurance and prescription drug coverage, they pay far less direct out of pocket costs than the Canadians do for drugs like Avastin.

There is a lot of discussion going on in Washington about streamlining FDA approvals for follow on generics and reducing the exclusivity timeline for pharmaceuticals, however in the case of biologic drugs like Avastin it’s not such a clear cut solution to simply allow competitors early access to proprietary formularies. Due to the complexity of producing the biologics and the risk of diminishing the necessary incentives for companies to produce them means any legislative intervention could have drastic negative effects on innovation if not done with consideration for the inventor of the biologic.

To me it seems like an easy solution, allow the inventors/investors 100% recovery of R&D and provide patent/formulary sharing for a price in order to inspire competition among the biotech companies, but unfortunately Washington doesn’t work that way. Sadly, in the U. S. the pay to play paradigm is alive and well in Washington, with politicians on both sides of the aisle getting their palms greased and pockets padded by big business. Just ask the board of directors for the Ted Kennedy Library, Congresswoman Eshoo (D) of California, Max Baucus (D) of Montana, Trent Lott (R) of Mississippi, President George Bush, and one of the biggest beneficiaries from big pharma, President Barack Obama.

Solutions for lowering healthcare costs that will in turn provide greater access and greater coverage must be a multi-faceted approach with corrections / legislation to numerous market sectors. A single massive sweeping piece of legislation that mandates every American purchase healthcare insurance and growing government to get it done will not solve the problems. Until we remove the financial incentives to politicians we can never hope the interests of the public at large will be honestly served.

Yes, cancer treatment drugs do indeed come with a hefty price tag – they cost a king’s ransom to develop, to manufacture, and produce, and certainly patients pay for it. I suppose if lives are saved we can consider it worth it, but it’s sad that wrapped up in that price is paying off self serving politicians.

More Links:
Why Biologics Remain Expensive
Pfizer and Amgen Trade “Political” Places
AEI - When Patents Are Not Enough

Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

I am a Canadian who is on Folfiri & Avastin, all paid for by the government. Avastin is covered in the province I live in (Ontario) & I believe most of the other provinces as well. Unfortunately I know there are a few (smaller) provinces where it is not covered; healthcare in Canada is under provincial rather than federal law. I believe it should be the same across the country. I have heard some people move from one province to another in order to ensure that they can get the drugs they need at no cost to them. I am fortunate to live in Ontario & have access to these cancer drugs without out-of-pocket expenses.

usakat's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006
CherylHutch's picture
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

Kat, it would be kind of nice and the correct thing to do, when referring to Canada, you post updated links. You have mentioned on more than one occasion how horrible it is that the province of Nova Scotia does not cover funding for Avastin (insinuating this is a problem across Canada blaming National Healthcare) ... of course, the link you love to use is one from April 2007... 2 1/2 years ago. Even you, Kat, know that things constantly change... especially in 2 1/2 years.

Nova Scotia actually did start funding Avastin 100% and has been covering it since April 2008, for almost 2 years now -- http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2008/08/15/avastin-details.html?ref=rss -- so I really think you can put this example and attempt to stir up the horrors of the Canadian medical system to rest. Avastin was still a new drug in 2007 and yes, some of the smaller provinces wanted to see more proof that this was worthwhile, since they are much smaller than the rest of the provinces in Canada but are still responsible for their medical budget. So a whole 6 months went by before they jumped on the bandwagon too and have been funding anyone who needs Avastin 100%. Bad Canada!! Bad! Bad! Bad! ;)

usakat's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

"While the Canadian government eventually approved Avastin for use, [many ]patients pay for it themselves, unless they purchase their own prescription drug plan. One of our members here at CSN, Wanda23, turned to fundraising to help pay for her mother’s Avastain in Canada. Sadly, Wanda’s mom died last year on February 26 – you can view her story at youtube.com." (see her at the link below).

You can also check out Wanda's reaching out for advice for fundraising to get Avastin for her mom. It was very heartbreaking what Wanda and her family went through, most especially for her mom, Betty. Many blessings to Wanda and her family for comfort and healing, and many blessings for peace and everlasting love for Betty.

CSN - What is the cost of Avastin

The point in my writing Cheryl, was not to poke the hornet's nest here or to justify why big pharma charges so much for drugs, but rather to offer some insight as to why cancer drugs are expensive HERE in the U. S. Currently there is so much misleading information among the masses here that serves to do nothing more than to confuse people. It's easy for us to blame corporate greed while our politician's have their fingers deep in the profit pie from big corporations/big pharma, and as we buy into that lie we still pay big bucks for treatments. How many people could have enjoyed a full course of Avastin here in the U. S. for the campaign contribution of $636,000?

BTW Cheryl: I don't recall that I've ever mentioned that Avastin is not covered in Canada, but perhaps I'm suffering latent chemo brain...

PGLGreg's picture
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

While I am more or less in sympathy with usakat's conclusions, it seems very odd to me that she feels she needs to justify the high prices of some cancer medications by the work and investment that were required to produce them. Suppose a medication that could save my life required very little work or investment to produce, would it be worth less to me, and so, should I pay less? I just want to save my life. I don't accept that medications are worth more only when they cost more to produce.


KATE58's picture
Posts: 300
Joined: Nov 2009

Altho drugs can be expensive to research and formulate,
many drug companies get research grants to allay the costs,
and once a drug has been developed the pharmicutical co that developed it,
holds an exclusivity patent on that drug for some times 5-10 years.
Until the patent expires, no one else can manufacture and sell that drug,
so the 'Brand Name' will be very expensive,but as soon as the patent has expired
the 'generic' version will be very cheap.

an example is before a generic 'Zofran' ,I lost my pills and to replace them out of pocket I was told they cost $28 a pill ( x's 30) yes TWENTY EIGHT DOLLARS A PILL !!
Now there is a generic, ondansetron hcl , which costs about .35 CENTS A PILL. YES,THIRTY FIVE CENTS.

25 years ago I worked for MERCK ,SHARPE & DOHME in North Wales Pa.( in accounting)the people who swept the floor made $25 an hour ,and you could not even get an interview unless you had a relative or a close friend who recomended you.

Also,the pharmacutical companies will not even bother to research or develope something made
of 'natural ingredients 'because they cannot be patented,so there would not be BIG profits.
( keep in mind asperin used to come from a plant growing in the woods and digitalis used to come from the flower foxglove-now they are synthetic)
Sorry for the rant, but I think drug companies only care about profits,and don't care who gets screwed.(why all the drug 'recalls'?)

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

Does the political propaganda run heavy here!

I seriously doubt it's "chemo brain", since all of my right wing friends
sing the same mantra.

Personally, I find it humorous; I am happy that my vote will
cancel yours. (ha ha)

Stay well.

usakat's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

....please put down the matches!

Fact vs. Propaganda

John, there is a huge difference between facts and propaganda. Pointing out there is more to the story of corporate greed that results in higher drug pricing is not propaganda, but rather an attempt to show there is far more to the story than corporate greed making a buck off sick people. Check out the story of Dennis Slamon, M. D., PhD (Google his name) - not everyone in drug development, medicine, healthcare, and the biotech industry are motivated by cold hard cash. To suggest so is to insult and diminish the important work of many people who labor tirelessly for the benefit of cancer patients.

Additionally, there was nothing "right wing" about my post - in fact, it was very non-partisan since I pointed out that both sides of the political spectrum have their hands in the deep pockets of big pharma. In fact, in the 2008 election cycle there was more than $166 million in campaign contributions to candidates of both political parties given by the healthcare industry. $166 million could pay for a lot of Avastin for a lot of cancer patients. This practice of "pay to play" leads to corporate and political corruption and the people who lose are the consumers, or in the case of cancer patients, us. Check out the top twenty 2008 healthcare industry campaign contribution recipients.

As for me, I am NOT a right wing banner carrier. I am Libertarian - I support fiscal responsibility and social freedom. I reject large government that replaces individual rights and responsibilities with government policy, I reject reckless spending of taxpayer money that serves government more than citizens, I reject archaic social and legal mores or excessive government intrusion that does not allow individuals to live their own private lives. Further I believe it's our responsibility as citizens to pay attention to our elected officials and seek out facts, not propaganda perpetrated by biased media and political rhetoric, in order to ensure the integrity of our democracy. We all have the choice to buy into the propaganda and rhetoric, or to seek out our own facts and form our own opinions, and we can do it without insulting each other.

I have never wished to block any reform to the healthcare industry, it's just I like to hope that the American people can be well served by the people we have elected to represent us and that any legislation that is enacted is for the sole benefit of the individual American citizen - not big business or big government. When there is so much money changing hands (campaign contributions) it leads to corruption - just check out the 2010 campaign contributions and ask yourself who exactly is being served in the current proposed legislation. Is Harry Reid representing YOUR best interest?

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

"-Additionally, there was nothing "right wing" about my post "
"-it was very non-partisan "
"-In fact, in the 2008 election cycle there was more than $166 million in campaign contributions "
"-I am NOT a right wing banner carrier"
"-seek out facts, not propaganda perpetrated by biased media"

And at last, but not least, the most formidable non-partisan comment of comments:

"Is Harry Reid representing YOUR best interest?"

Harry Reid: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Reid
(Yes, I think he does, ma'am'; quite a bit, actually. Thank you.)

This forum is for all of us to discuss our times and troubles with cancer.

Political rants are best served at other more "non-partisan" forums
such as "www.freerepublic.com" and/or the many other fine "open-minded"
"non-partisan" web sites available.

All this political banter serves to do, is divide into groups, those of
us that should be more solidly banding together.

I personally (and very regrettably) voted for the "bushes" both times,
for both generations. I have watched in horror, eight years of actions
that took this country into the pits of hell.

For six of those eight years the conservative party had total, absolute
control. Yet the surplus we had, and the deficit we didn't have has
been reversed. Health care has taken a tumble, along with the entire
economy. Those in power for six years (and for the remaining two
years that their votes were still required), did absolutely nothing.

And now, with less than one year of control, our new President and
his administration is being said to be fools by the same crew that
had the power, and did -absolutely nothing-, for eight years.

Now, of course, the "conservatives" suddenly have all the answers!

Say goodnight; some of us need a break, and a new beginning.
I voted for a change; a major change.... along with all those that
felt the same way.

We have a chance for that change, and I sure wish those that
put us in the hole we are in today, would stay out of the way.

Perhaps with the next election, we can remove the balance of those
we left in power, and get this Nation back to where it belongs.

No hard feelings, and my absolute best hopes for good health to all,
regardless of political bend. We all have a tough battle to fight, and
it has little if anything, to do with politics.


usakat's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

Top 20 2010 Healthcare Campaign Contribution Recipients

$193,750 from Big Pharma
Big Pharma Donors

$134,200 from Insurance/HMO
Insurance Donors

Senator Reid is in no way the only one accepting money - it's reported that Senate and House representatives from 47 states have accepted money from healthcare industry heavy hitters like Pfizer, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, AMA, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association, AARP, among others. Corporate and Association political donorship is reaching an all time high. Everyone is free to draw their own conclusions why corporations and associations give big money to elected officials.

At opensecrets.org website it's easy to follow the association of donorship to legislation.

The true measure of the labors of any person is what they actually do, not just what they say.

"The quintessential revolution is that of the spirit, born of an intellectual conviction of the need for change in those mental attitudes and values which shape the course of a nation's development. A revolution which aims merely at changing official policies and institutions with a view to an improvement in material conditions has little chance of genuine success. Without a revolution in spirit, the forces which had produced inequities of the old order would continue to be operative, posing a constant threat to the process of reform and regeneration. It is not enough merely to call for freedom, democracy and human rights. There has to be a united determination to persevere in the struggle, to make sacrifices in the name of enduring truths, to resist the corrupting influences of desire, ill will, ignorance, and fear. Aung San Suu Kyi

Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2009

that run things more or less. A politicians number one goal is to get elected; second objective is to get reelected. Big money comes from big business. Who's voce gets heard, the public's or the money provider?......Steve

Posts: 62
Joined: Jun 2009

I was wondering if you have any data on marketing versus research budgets for big pharma, since you seem to have researched this topic a fair amount. I've heard the argument before that drugs need to be expensive to recover research costs, but what amount of their budget is actually devoted to drug development?

Marketing expenses are a dead loss to patients, though important to the companies.


usakat's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

Dr. Jerome Groopman, an oncologist and author, wrote a great article for the New Yorker, about marketing drugs to physicians. Click on the blue link to read the article. Dr. Groopman revisits the marketing of pharmaceuticals to doctors in his book, How Doctors Think.

Dr. Groopman’s articles and books are both informative and inspiring. As a patient, his writing has given me a glimpse into the mindset of doctors. How Doctors Think is a good book; his book the Anatomy of Hope is excellent. Every doctor, nurse and healthcare provider should read it.

As for pharmaceutical marketing strategies? IMHO, marketing pharmaceuticals directly to patients seems an unethical practice. Pharmaceuticals are to treat specific medical conditions that can and should be identified and assessed by a proper face-to-face medical consultation with licensed medical doctors. A patient does not have the knowledge and experience to propose treatment protocols for illness unless they have specific medical knowledge of the specific condition they wish to treat. It seems more proper to prescribe medications to treat medical conditions, not searching for an illness that meets the prescription guidelines for specfic medication a patient wants.

We should expect a certain amount of marketing to doctors, so that doctors can learn of new drugs that are available, but to use undue incentives and payments to doctors from big pharma certainly raises questions of ethics and who or what is being served. It’s really no different than politicians taking money from big pharma for legislative favors.

“Money power denounces, as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes”
~ William Jennings Bryan

PhillieG's picture
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and they don't even deliver it, I have to go in and get it!

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KATE58's picture
Posts: 300
Joined: Nov 2009

I don't know why people seemed so scared either.
we are the only nation (developed) without national healthcare.
we rank 1st in highest healthcare costs,yet,29th in quality of healthcare.
we are highest in hypertension, diabetes,heart disease,obesity etc.

People lose their houses,life savings,everything they own when they come up against
a catastrophic illness.
NO ONE in any other country has ever lost their house or life savings due to illness.

Everything they are saying against national healthcare now ,they said in the early sixties
when they first implemented medicare and medicaid.

People keep using Canada as a negative example,but who says our plan is the same one as canada? (I never hear Canadians complain.)
France has the best health care plan
And their doctors make housecalls !

One thing I would like to say,I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion,
and and I don't think anyone should make a difference of opinion personal.
Both sides have their own agenda and propeganda.
God bless us everyone.

usakat's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

I'm not sure "fear" is the right word to describe why many citizens are uncomfortable with the proposed healthcare legislation - words that seem more apropos would be skeptical or a lack of confidence.

We hear that as a nation we could and should provide access to healthcare to all citizens. Any compassionate citizen would agree we should. Currently in some fashion we already do, although without question the system is deeply flawed. Many have asked why we can't simply have nationalized government healthcare, like Medicare, for everyone. I suppose we could, but at what cost and would quality be better or worse using the Medicare model for everyone? Would it truly stabilize the cost escalation of the healthcare market or simply shift cost escalations to other columns on the balance sheets of individuals and government? And more importantly, would it be sustainable over the long term?

Recently the Social Security Administration released, “A Summary of the 2009 Annual Reports for Medicare”, issued by the Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees. Click here to read the Summary. The Board of Trustees clearly state in the Summary that Medicare under it’s current operational structure and based on anticipated tax revenue is not sustainable without deficit beyond 2016. The Summary states, “The projected exhaustion of the [Hospital Insurance – HI] Trust Fund within the next eight years is an urgent concern. Congressional action will be necessary to ensure uninterrupted provision of HI services to beneficiaries. Correcting the financial imbalance for the HI Trust Fund—even in the short range alone—will require substantial changes to program income and/or expenditures.”

“Changes to program income and/or expenditures” means higher taxes, reduced Medicare services, or a combination of both.

The Board of Trustees are, respectfully, Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Trueasury, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor (my former Congresswoman), and Michael Austrue, Commissioner of Social Security. I think it’s safe to take their word for it if they say Medicare is not sustainable.

It’s important to note that both the House and the Senate bills do NOT provide free healthcare to anyone, other than those who are currently covered under other types of social programs, i.e., Medicare, VA, Medicaid, SCHIP, etc., all of which are flawed but do provide necessary services to citizens. The proposed legislation does not provide no-cost medical coverage or services, but rather mandates that every citizen purchase health insurance. Individuals can purchase medical insurance on their own in the private market, obtain it from their employers, who will be required to provide medical insurance or pay fees-penalties, or through some type of insurance cooperative (TBD). If a person is unable to obtain health insurance under those circumstances, the “public option” will be available for purchase. Individuals who choose not to buy insurance will pay a penalty-fine. There will be hardship provisions for those who cannot afford to purchase the public option provided they earn less income than established by the program (related to Federal poverty levels) – those granted hardship exclusions will remain uninsured.

The program will be funded by additional taxes to individuals and businesses, changes/cuts to Medicare, price fixing/changes to reimbursable rates for Medicare, eliminates non-taxable reimbursements from Health Savings Accounts, caps Health Savings Accounts at $2,500 (pre-tax dollars for healthcare costs), and other taxes, surcharges, fees, etc.

Funding for the health reform package will start in 2010, but actual implementation of the program for use by American citizens will not occur until 2013. Between 2010 and 2013 funding will be collected and the bureaucracies will be established to structure and manage the programs. As citizens we will have to take it on faith that while funds are being collected the programs will roll out in a reasonable time frame.

There is little in the proposed legislation that will provide meaningful cost reductions without affecting quality over the long term.

Being neither to the extreme left or the extreme right of the political spectrum, I’m troubled by the fact that both the House and Senate bills are extremely partisan, wholly supported by Democrats and rejected by Republicans. I would prefer a greater concurrence between the two parties that would speak of greater balance within the legislation. I would think that legislation that is more equally supported or equally rejected probably greater serves the needs of the masses than those that are supported by a single political ideological group. That is the point of the two party system - to ensure a balanced democracy and to circumvent a concentration of power to a limited group of people, a group of elitists.

One of my favorite modern day thinkers is Thomas Sowell. He is immensely intelligent, fair minded, and balances logic with reason quite well. While he is fiscally conservative, his social views are rooted in a strong sense of justice. He is quoted, “It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.”

I’m glad Medicare is currently working for so many people – with supplemental insurance it serves my parents, my aunts and uncles, and my in-laws very well and for that I am very grateful. If Medicare had the promise of lasting viability for the following generations I would be more encouraged and probably more supportive of government taking a larger role in healthcare. Although, I would hope that more marketplace reforms would occur that will actually lower costs for whoever pays the healthcare bills – be it the patients, the insurance companies or the government.

And lastly, I'm glad our Canadian neighbors have it figured out and that our Canadian friends here at CSN receive quality care without all the red tape and incredible expenses we suffer here in the States.

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geotina's picture
Posts: 2123
Joined: Oct 2009

Kate - from your lips to Washington's ears. You are right, my sister has reached the age where she has Medicare and she is thrilled with it. You are also right, Canadians do not complain. Many Americans are bankrupt when illness strikes and that is just not right. Tina

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

There are so many special interests involved in this debate/discussion. Sadly, it's part human nature and part good old greed. The drug and medical lobbyists too often control what happens to us, the people who are affected by the $$$ decisions. Bottom line too often is $$$. It's what drives too many people, not JUST Americans but we're damn good at it.

This sort of reminds me of the automotive industry. America COULD have been making fuel efficient, solid, dependable cars and trucks for years. We had what should have been the "wake up call" in the 70's with the earlier gas crisis. Other countries take situations like that and find solutions. But what did we do? NOTHING. We made bigger, crappier cars and thought of foreign competition as a joke. We did nothing as far as getting off our "addiction" to oil. We encouraged more of the same as long as the bottom line ($$$) grew. Here we are again with problems in health care that have been trying to be addressed since 1916 if not before. Again we look at "foreigners" as not knowing what they are doing and refusing to look at what works and take it seriously.

I'm sure many will disagree and that's fine, we all have our opinions. Then there are the facts. I've tended to stay clear of this because I've been involved in many of these endless circular threads that are lose/lose situations.
I just felt like throwing in my two cents in for what it's worth.
(it used to be worth two cents, now it seem to be nonsense)

usakat's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

I agree, Phillie...

I remember those times gone by of odd/even gas days and waiting in long lines to get gas, back when all gas stations were full serve. I was a little too young to fully understand what it was all about, but looking back now I'm perplexed by how little we've learned. It seems that we like things here bigger, more flashy, and more, more, more of it...quality and conservation sadly is rarely addressed until we're in crises, just like you said. I'm hoping we do learn from these economic hard times and follow the example of our parents and grandparents...

Good points you made...as for your two cents? Let's see, two cents, adjusted for inflation, the decline of the American dollar, current CPI...it's now about .002 cents compared to 1975...although, you have acquired some wisdom since two cents was worth two cents, so you should add back a premium for that wisdom, so factoring that back in, your two cents should now be worth = .004 cents. Considering this, your two cents is worth much more if you had two pennies dated 1975, which if you melted them down, their value in copper would actually be worth two cents. If you had four 1855 half cents, even in well worn condition, you would have ~$152 in collectable coins.

Funny money...

Hmmm...what does it mean if the value of the material that money is made with is worth more than the money itself? Is this why gold has gone up in price?

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

Why has this become such a politically intensive thread, when
the intention was, to bring forward the inflated charges for what
may eventually heal us?

So..... for educational purposes:

Thomas Sowell - Black Conservative

Town Hall - The Conservative Elite

The real history of Medicare:
Conservatives and Health Care

"Where There Is No Vision, The People Perish"

We wanted change; we are finally seeing an attempt to give us change.

Please support Health Care reform.

Posts: 66
Joined: Dec 2009

My friend Antione, who is Canadian, told me if he ever got sick, just to drive him close enough to the border so he could crawl across :)

dianetavegia's picture
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

Actually, my FOLFOX was $16,600 not counting my disconnect and flush every two weeks.

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

I just went to the Aetna webpage to look at my EOB for my last chemo infusion. I just added up all the charges listed for that day, which they did not specify what treatments/drugs each charge was for. The charges listed for that one day on the webpage for me added up to $13,543 & I was getting this every two weeks. That would be almost $28,000 for one month, not including the charges for my labwork or my monthly oncologist appts- the $28K is just for the chemo treatments alone. Here, now that I've stopped the Folfiri/Avastin and I'm doing an "off market" treatment (technically saving them a lot of money), they don't want to pay for the interferon I need, which costs about $1,000 a month- crazy!! I'm fighting them this week on this.


eric38's picture
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2009

John - You are an eternal optimist, aren`t you?


PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

Aren't we all supposed to be happy and think positive?
You betcha!

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

They can lower their costs/expenses!!!

I'll use the income statement numbers for Roche (mentioned above and they now own Genentech) for just the first half of 2009.

Sales: $24 billion

Cost of Sales: $7.1 billion (includes all advertising, sales employees and their fancy vehicles, incentives for: docs, pharmacist, nursing homes, employees, all marketing, all political lobbying and campaign contributions etc. etc.)

Research and Development: $4.5 billion

Legal Cases: $ 421 million

For a grand profit (after ALL expenses): $4 billion

Notice that they spend more on selling their drugs than they do on trying to find new ones, almost twice as much.

I say get them and their million dollars spokespersons off TV. I find it amazing that cigarette and liquor companies can no longer be advertised on TV and radio because it negatively impacts too many people. Well, DUH how many women does Sally Fields draw to her drug of choice, I bet she doesn't even take it. Of course if they stopped TV ads for legal drugs dozens of our TV channels would not be able to afford to operate and lord knows we need all 400 of our TV channels.

Lisa P.

I can't believe I just researched this but I have been making chocolate truffles for the last few hours and am on a chocolate high!!!!

usakat's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

To truly understand prescription drug costs, especially as it relates to R & D and corporate profits in the pharmaceutical industry, the attached Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Report is quite comprehensive and informative. The CBO is non-partisan and does not offer opinions or commentary, but rather uses purely empirical data to provide objective information and analysis only. Basically the CBO in their reporting provides answers to specific questions. In the case of the attached report the questions are:
- What explains the cost of developing new drugs?
- Does federal investment in R&D stimulate or displace private investment?
- Has the drug industry’s innovative performance declined?
- How profitable are drug firms, and how do profits affect the amount and type of R&D that companies conduct?

Click on this link to read the report:
CBO - R & D in the Pharmaceutical Industry

As for the second question, the Federal government does not fund R & D for specific drugs, but rather participates and funds basic research - applied research is done in the private sector through private funding. R & D for pharmaceuticals is generally funded by company shareholders or by private investors/venture capitalists. As Scouty reported, very little company internal capital (cash on hand) will fund R & D because of the length of time to develop and test new formularies (average 12 years), thereby using/tying up capital with no anticipated return in the near term (see page 2 of the report).

It's very enlightening reading and will help us better understand the process of drug development.

Check it out!

petppetp's picture
Posts: 14
Joined: Nov 2008

ive been thinking of this same topic for some time now. the simple fact is cancer...and healthcare in general...has become a BUSINESS. all these new cancer drugs coming out arent really cancer drugs per se. avastin and erbitux all make traditional drugs (like oxaliplatin) more effective. thats it. while that might be all fine and dandy, i find it hard to believe that oxalitplatin, a 30 year old cancer drug, has not been replaced with something more effective. yet drug companies can invent drugs that give 80 year olds boners (viagra), or treat 'restless leg syndrome'???? just watch '60 minutes' on a sunday night and look at how many commercials there are for pointless drugs. truly outrageous.

i dont want to get political or anything, but this country has spent ONE TRILLION DOLLARS over the past 9 years fighting two useless wars. if they spent that money instead fighting cancer, that disease wouldve disappeared a long time ago.

something to think about; if genentech or roche or any other big pharma company was to invent drug ABC (as an example) that completely cured cancer, but also had drug XYZ(for example) that simply treated it and allowed you to live the rest of your life as long as you had to take XYZ every single month....which drug do you think would be marketed and which drug would be hidden away in the company vault for no one else to see ever again???

its truly sad how society has become.

KATE58's picture
Posts: 300
Joined: Nov 2009

I hate to say this out loud ,
but I think drug companies are not in the business to CURE diseases,
( they would eventually put themselves out of business,right?)
but to keep diseases under control and alleviate symptoms.
I believe,like the electric car ( which was first invented in 1901)
they DO have cures,hidden in a basement safe somewhere.
( and I'm not even a conspiracy theorist)

There was a guy in the 70's or 80's I believe, who invented a battery that
NEVER needed replacement.( I wonder whatever happened to him ?)

usakat's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

Who are THEY, who have cancer cures locked in a vault?

Something to think about is as a species on planet Earth humans are not suffering cancer in the singular, but rather CANCERS, plural. Colon cancer is different from rectal cancer, which is different from lung cancer, which is different from pancreas cancer, which is different from Leukemia, which is different from brain, breast, bone, skin cancers. Further, my colon cancer is different from my husband's colon cancer, whose is different from Donna's colon cancer, whose is different from Kim's colon cancer. Cancer is not one illness, it's many different illnesses.

Cancers, all types of cancer, are very complex groups of cells - they are very unique from person to person. In the same way that each of us are genetically different, so are cancers genetically different from person to person and from cancer type to cancer type. This explains why chemo drugs for a breast cancer patient is different than a colon cancer patient, and why you can have two people with stage III colon cancer who follow the same treatment regime have two different outcomes.

Considering how complex cancers are and how many individuals have some form of cancer it is understandable that finding a cure, even treatments, are difficult. We're not looking for one cure; we are looking for many cures. This is why the failure rate of developing new formularies and protocols are so high and a solid cure for any type of cancer is so elusive. However, there is a lot of good news and indications that the scientific community is moving closer and closer to finding better treatments and cures for the various cancers.

For instance, Gardisil is a recently approved vaccine for use to prevent a viral condition, HPV-Human Papillomavirus, which has high rates of developing into cervical cancer. With the vaccine preventing the condition that causes cervical cancer, it could be considered a cure via preventation. I suppose we will see if widespread use of Gardisil results in substantial decreases in cervical cancer incidence rates in the following years.

I mentioned Dennis Slamon, MD, PhD, an oncologist, who made incredible discoveries in the genetics of a type of breast cancer cell that affects 25% - 30% of all women with breast cancer. Dr. Slamon's discovery lead to the development of Trastuzumab / Herceptin. Herceptin is not a chemotherapy drug. It is a monoclonal antibody that interrupts molecular communication / instructions in cancer cells, which prevents cancer from forming or growing. It's a life changing discovery by successfully extending the lives of women with breast cancer. And the beauty is Herceptin does not have the adverse side effects that chemotherapy does, vastly improving the quality of life for patients. Herceptin works on the cellular level, rather than the systemic level, and it is a biologic product, rather than an inorganic chemical.

These two examples of new methods of cancer prevention and treatment are truly paving the way for preventing and/or curing other types of cancers and illnesses. The exciting thing about these two examples is they provide information about cellular mechanisms that scientists and biologists can build upon to make future discoveries. They are also serving to change the paradigm from "killing" cancer cells, which also kills important healthy cells, to preventing and suppressing cancer cells from growing at all.

In fact, this year's 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine was awarded to three American scientists working in the United States who made an important discovery in chromosomal physiology and function that has promising potentials to cure a multitude of illnesses, including cancer. As their discovery moves from basic scientific research to applied scientific research, we can have real hope that the following research will lead to new treatments and protocols in the future. Exciting, isn't it?

So you see, it would be highly unlikely that a cure for cancer is locked up in a basement vault of a greedy pharmaceutical executive. There are far too many people not associated with big pharma working on the problem of illness and cancer, too many people who are working on the problem who are not motivated by sheer monetary profit. Most scientists are inspired by the excitement and promise of meaningful scientific discovery and the positive applications for mankind. The notoriety they receive for fantastic discoveries is far more gratifying than money - things like recognition, respect from peers, receiving numerous awards like the Nobel Prize, and joining the ranks of much lauded scientists like Linus Pauling, Marie Curie, Jonas Salk, James Watson, Paul Ehrlich, et al. They also are well enriched by helping their fellow mankind. Trying to cap a lid on a cancer cure would be akin to attempting to cap a lid on Kilauea in Hawaii. It cannot be done – any attempts to cap either would result in a blow up.

As a group of cancer survivors, we must be careful what and how we communicate the cause of cancer so as not to unwittingly impede the fund raising efforts of organizations like ACS, C3-Colon Cancer Coalition, Stand Up to Cancer, Susan G. Koman, etc., who support cancer research with grants and awards. If we refute the statistics that we are making strides in the treatment of cancer, or if we promote conspiracy theories that a cancer cure is suppressed for monetary or power gains, or that a future cure would be, we would not inspire people to support the organizations that support us.

Throughout the course of the history of man many attempts have been made to stifle scientific discovery for a multitude of reasons - power, politics, religion, fear, control the masses, etc. But there have been far more reasons to promote scientific discovery - it has endless value to our primary goal on Earth - survival.

ACS: Secret Cancer Cure Myth

http://www.cancertreatmentwatch.org or Cancer Treatment Watch: Is There Really a Conspiracy to Suppress Cancer Cures?

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

A cancer cell is a normal cell that has been damaged. If it is damaged
in such a way that it stops accepting proteins or signals, the brain
loses control of the cell's existence. The damaged cell then turns to
the fermentation process to survive.

Fermentation involves taking in glucose and expelling lactic acid.
Cancer cells rob the body of it's energy, by using the glucose the
body needs for survival. That is why late stages of cancer produces
skinny people.

So basically, there aren't "all different types" of cancer cells, like
there are different types of virus, etc.. The cancer cell is a normal
cell that has been damaged. A cancer cell is a cancer cell. Period.

A cancer cell that is a damaged colon cancer cell, will look like
a mutated colon cell, regardless if it travels to the lung and continues
to grow there. You don't then have "lung cancer", you have colon
cancer in your lung.

It's unfortunate, but if an doctor doesn't see any signs of colon cancer,
and you have cancer in your lung, it can be misdiagnosed as lung cancer.

The treatment is only different, due to the chemicals that have been
"invented" to kill fast growing cells in specific areas of the body.

Prostrate cancer is slow growing, while generally, lung cancer
can grow much faster.

Valid cancer remedies have indeed been put to rest by the industry.

I've mention in previous posts (now archived) three in particular that
had merit, but were side-lined. Large corporations; the leaders in
Chemotherapy drugs, invest heavily in the "new drugs", and the drugs
all manage to fail testing.

They did it with Hydrazine Sulfate, they are doing it now, with Trovax,
Oxford Med's compound.

One Chinese herb that is now being studied by Merck in an effort to
find what the chemical is that manages to kill cancer cells specifically,
is also said to be failing their tests.

I use that herb, and it is useless if used alone. Almost all herbs are to
be used with other herbs in a compound. That specific herb must be
used with a second specific herb, if it is to work at all.

So why would a company spend millions to test a new possible way
to fight cancer, and cause it to fail testing? Why indeed. People seem
to be convinced that the Emperor actually has new clothes.....

The story at the link that follows, is a great example of the truth
of what's been really going on.

The Syracuse Cancer Research Institute does not sell anything;
it is a non-profit. They have absolutely no financial gain, any more
than I have, with this drug. It can be purchased in Canada, or in the
USA from suppliers.

If one goes this route, it should be with a physician's guidance,
since the drug is a MAOI, and requires a special diet and the
absence of most pharmaceuticals.

And again, this is nearly the most perfect example of what I see
repeated again and again.

Hydrazine Sulfate

Syracuse Cancer Research Institute

Better health to us all.

usakat's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

Cancer cells are not "normal" cells that morph into cancer cells. Cancer cells are cells with genetic mistakes / mutations made during cell division, basically altering the DNA of whatever type of cell is dividing or being reproduced (liver cell, skin cell, bone cell, blood cell, etc.), causing all subsequent cells to be mutated. The body does have a mechanism to make corrections to these mutated cells (tumor suppressors), however when that mechanism fails the cells do not die off as in normal cell life cycles, but rather continues with uncontrolled growth that ultimately develops into masses / tumors. There are also inherited cancers caused by inherited mutations in cells that are passed from parents to children. Those mutated cells would never be considered normal cells. Information for cells to reproduce, stop growing, make corrections, etc. do not come from the brain, the information, more specifically the instructions, come from DNA (the body's instruction manuals for life).

Click on link to review ACS information: ACS: What is cancer?

Click on link to review information about Basic Biology and Cancer:
American Association for Cancer Research: Not All Cancers Are The Same

National Cancer Institute: What is Cancer?

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

My dear Kat...

It would really be a great idea to read a bit more in-depth literature
regarding "cancer cells".

"Sometimes obvious facts are so overlooked by those of high intellect."
(I'll let you look that one up)

Better health to you.

Oh... PS:
Here's a link or two for -you- to get started:

CancerHelp UK

The Association for International Cancer Research

I would include more, but it would be redundant.

Stay well!

usakat's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

The links you provided say the same things the links I provided do, and all confirm what I wrote. So yes, perhaps it was redundant, but thanks for confirming the information I provided is valid and has concurrence among many sources.

I do agree that "sometimes obvious facts are so overlooked by those of high intellect."

The National Cancer Institute has a great slide show that illustrates cell mitosis and what happens when an error or damage occurs during the cycle which brings about genetic changes that sometimes result in unregulated growth of cells. It is the unregulated growth of cells that can cause cancer. Check it out. It's a great source/tool to learn about cancer.


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