Why does one drug, Kaydeco, cost €232,000?

As more medicines costing hundreds of thousands of euro are launched, can the state afford to pay? And is Big Pharma pricing drugs fairly? Susan Mitchell reports.

Susan Mitchell

Deputy Editor and Health Editor @susmitchellsbp
27th January, 2013
In Ireland, 10 per cent of cystic fibrosis sufferers would benefit from the new drug, Kalydeco. Photo: Getty

It is one of the oldest debates in economics: what is the difference between what something costs and what it is worth? In Ireland, that debate has been given new urgency by Kalydeco, a drug used to treat cystic fibrosis.

Kalydeco is a revolutionary drug that will transform the lives of patients who have at least one copy of the G551D mutation - the so-called Celtic gene mutation.

The manufacturer, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, priced Kayldeco...

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