Prelude to a Price Increase: Vincristine, Chemo Drug for Childhood Leukemia in Short Supply

What is more cynical than cutting production of a drug essential for the treatment of childhood leukemia. Nothing.

“Until earlier this year, there were two suppliers of vincristine: Pfizer and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. In July, Teva made a “business decision to discontinue the drug,” according to the Food and Drug Administration. “

“Since then, Pfizer has been the sole supplier, and the company lately has experienced manufacturing troubles.”

Medicynical note: Big pharma has a long history of manipulating supplies of drugs to increase their price point. Nothing is below them whether it is pricing an older HIV drug at literally hundreds of times more than previously, to charging hundreds of dollars for a few pennies worth (if that) of epinephrine for asthma, to paying many millions of dollars to delay the release of generic drugs that would compete with their brand. So an ill considered stoppage of production of an essential chemo drug is more of the same in the money driven system of revenue generation that we call healthcare.

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