This week’s medical breakthrough sees the unusual sight of a lifetime costing sell make national news.
It concerns big pharma Novartis. Specifically their new item, car-t; list price £282,000.
It’s a “revolutionary treatment that re-engineers the immune system to fight cancer”.
In this particular cause, a rare child afflicting leukaemia presenting about four hundred cases a year, thirty of which cannot currently be treated. Until now.
Such “game changer” “living drug” “personalised medicines” are set to replace today’s therapies in similar light to bygone leeches of medieval age.
Yet such science fiction turning fact comes at huge monetary cost.
Think of the eye-watering research and development.
I also learn that an adult version of the same, Yescarta from Gilead, is deemed too expensive right now. Even more you sense than Novartis charge and so not approved by the England health authorities for ‘free’ tax-funded receipt by patients.
So how come the Novartis green light?
Well, a hearty price drop seems to have helped, yes.
But also – and critically from our solution sale viewpoint – the compelling business case.
It appears the cost of care for children burdened with this disease is currently lengthy and massive.
I heard one doctor recount present treatment times of upto three years, extended through any relapse coupled with possible bone marrow transplant which alone sounded both heart- and bank-breaking.
It is this that so many a business case fails to consider.
What costs, often taken as a given, will if not magically disappear, then at least be freed up and saved in other ways?
To fix a problem people will pay. When the new amount is less than current spend you’re onto a winner regardless.
Do you also factor in the success rate?
In this instance, a whopping 80% of kids live. Yes, despite the severe side effects it is hard to argue with such numbers.
What will your prospect pay to cure their pain?