German pharmaceutical conglomerate Habsucht-Kilne laboratories announced today that phase 3 clinical trials of their new HIV drug, Pleonexia, are now underway. Pleonexia - a four drug combination also known as Cynivex - is said to have eliminated all traces of HIV from a cohort of thirty test subjects.
Speaking from outside his summer home (pictured above), Habsucht-Kilne spokesperson Hans Axelsson advised that the annual anticipated (wholesale) cost per subject of Pleonexia will be approximately €4.2 million (Euros). When questioned why the drug will be priced so high, Axelsson explained that "our development costs have been exceptionally high for this product".
On a related note, U.S. company Engenew has completed phase 2 trials of their CCR5 gene modifier, Lexigen (Interlexin-6), which has thus far proven to completely block HIV from infecting host leucocytes.There is no word yet of the expected cost of Lexigen, but Engenew representatives are said to be "hopeful" that the gene-therapy cure will be less than the cost of Plexonia.
Okay, so none of this is real, of course, but you do have to wonder why our meds cost so much and where the money really goes.
To be fair, the drug companies do incur large R&D and other costs, but the numbers do make you wonder how much they really spend and how much profit they make inventing, manufacturing and selling the pills that keep us well. It certainly makes me wonder.
(D.H. Weiss is now writing his second novel, yet to be named. To read chapter one of his first work of fiction, "From Seven Till Dawn", visit www.davidweissny.com. )