Sticker shock

JULIANA KEEPING is rushing to work in Oklahoma with two children in tow. Her three-year-old son, Eli, has cystic fibrosis, a deadly lung disorder. He is too young for a drug called Orkambi from Vertex Pharmaceuticals, a biotech firm, but one day it may keep him alive. His mother’s question is why it costs over $250,000. A charity helped pay for its development, she says, with some donations from people who were “D-Y-I-N-G”—she spells out the word. That is because she doesn’t want her other child to understand. “She doesn’t know her brother’s disease is F-A-T-A-L.”

Ms Keeping has started a petition against the price of Orkambi. She is not alone in her anger. Americans are furious about the cost of medicines. Over the past week their ire engulfed Mylan, a generic-drug firm, which had raised the price of its EpiPen, an injectable medicine that fends off deadly allergic reactions, to $608, from about $100 in 2007. On August 29th Mylan said it would start selling a generic version for half the price. The brawl is far from over. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are proposing measures that would...Continue reading