Episode #117

Expensive Prescriptions and Argentina's Default

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Friday, August 01, 2014

Since the genome was sequenced 10 years ago, personalized medicine has started to catch fire. Pharmaceutical companies are now developing drugs for so-called orphan diseases, which affect only a small sliver of the population. It sounds great, but there’s a potential problem: The cost. Some of these drugs cost a thousand dollars a pill. This week on Money Talking, regular contributors Joe Nocera of the New York Times and Rana Foroohar of Time magazine speak to guest host Heidi Moore of the Guardian about what personalized medicine means for consumers, drug companies and insurance companies. This week's episode also explores what Argentina's default means for the global economy and a set of American hedge funds that invested in the country. 

Hosted by:

Heidi Moore

Produced by:

Daniel P. Tucker


Rana Foroohar and Joe Nocera

Comments [1]

Robert from Brooklyn

I have meniere's disease which may fall into this category of an orphan disease. Pharmaceuticals are developing these orphan drugs for their high profits yet there are numerous drugs that American pharmaceuticals will not produce because they are less profitable but as effective. They tend to be older but still very effective medications that could be sold as generics, thus lowering the potential profit. In my case one of these drugs is betahistine which has been the most effective so far in suppressing the inner ear destroying episodes associated with meniere's. This drug is available all over the world except here (sold under the brand name Serc). the FDA has not approved this drug in the US because they claim its ineffective (yet Europe, Australia, Canada and England find it is effective). What really is going on is no American pharmaceutical will back this drug because they can make more money elsewhere. People suffer permanent debilitating damage because of this system (I am one of them). According to my neurologist there are also Parkinson medication that are no longer available in the US but still remains highly effective. The only way we can obtain these medications is either from Canada or possibly from compounding pharmacies at high cost to us.

Aug. 01 2014 02:36 PM

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