02 February 2014

Frozen Orange Juice

Do you prefer your orange juice from the orange, or from the frozen can? Can is cheaper, and, if your water is decent, will taste just as good as the kind in a gallon jug. Which brings us to Humira. I'm watching a golf tournament, and there was just a commercial for Humira, an arthritis drug. The advert shows us a "day in the life" of a white, 40-ish, upper middle class Mom. I'm listening to Marty Ehrlich on the AKG's, so I didn't hear the voice over this time. No matter.

The closing text graphic is "taken by injection".

From the Wiki:
Humira costs approximately $1,662 per month, like the TNF-alpha inhibitor etanercept (Enbrel). Methotrexate costs approximately $13 to $85 per month.

In 2012 Humira drug had $4.3 billion of sales in the US, and $9.3 billion worldwide.

It's sold by AbbVie (stupid name, yes?), a spin-off from Abbott Labs. One has to wonder how long such compounds can remain in existence as the middle class, especially the upper version, disappears. Concentration makes for cheaper orange juice. Not so much for health care.

For the record, methotrexate is an ancient generic, which is why it's so cheap.
Though not everybody is responsive to treatment with methotrexate, multiple studies and reviews showed that the majority of patients receiving methotrexate for up to one year had less pain, functioned better, had fewer swollen and tender joints, and had less disease activity overall as reported by themselves and their doctors. X-rays also showed that the progress of the disease slowed or stopped in many patients receiving methotrexate.

I suspect AbbVie will line up behind Wal-Mart. First SNAP, then crackle, pop arthritis drugs.

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