1. The Problem
The costs of healthcare are increasing at unsustainable levels. A major reason is the cost of life-saving drugs. So burdensome are the high prices of cancer drugs that a recent study found that 39% of cancer patients have altered their care by not filling a prescription or taking less than prescribed medication because of financial distress. People who are diagnosed with cancer should be able to spend their time and energy fighting the disease, not figuring out how to pay for their treatment.
Adding to the problem is that huge amounts of cancer drugs are wasted because of the way they are packaged. More drug is included in the vials than needed for treatment. The leftover amount cannot be used and is simply thrown away. Shockingly, a recent study reported that patients and their insurers paid nearly $3 billion in a year for the portions of 18 leading drugs that went down the drain.
2. The Solution
It doesn’t have to be this way. This same study reported that, if the companies added one smaller vial per product, the amount paid for these wasted drugs could be reduced by billions a year. What makes the problem even worse for patients in this country is that some companies have made smaller vials available in Europe, but not here.
3. Our Involvement
The Law Office of Richard S. Cornfeld, LLC has filed a lawsuit against Genentech, Inc., the manufacturer of cancer drugs Avastin, Kadcyla and Rituxan, along with the asthma drug Xolair, sold in sizes that lead to unthinkable amounts of waste. We hope to put a stop to this abominable practice. See the Second Amended Complaint that we filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Williamson v. Genentech, Inc. et al.