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Both Sides of Biologics Debate Explored in Marketplace Money Feature

Written by on Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

In case you missed its radio broadcast, Marketplace Money recorded a podcast of its story last week on biologics: "Making Speciality Drugs Cheaper," which explored both sides of the ongoing biologics debate. 

The program first presented the human side of the issue through an interview with Darren Baker, a chemist at Biogen Idec. in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who was diagnosed with  B-cell Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2003 and took one of the biologics his company developed, Rituxan.  Three years later, Mr. Baker is cancer free.

The program then addressed the cost side of the debate and explored the difficulties in developing generic biologics, interviewing Matthew Connell, director of pharmacy services at Blue Cross Blue Shield, the largest insurer in Massachusetts, and Biogen Idec spokesman Tim Hunt.

The program did a really good job of capturing the essence of this debate and conveying why there are no easy answers.   On one hand, we want biologics to be developed that will save lives, but on the other hand, society wants those same biologics to cost as little as possible.  It goes without saying that it will be difficult–if not impossible–to fully reconcile the two opposing societal goals, particularly in the case of biologics. 








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