Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Business Of RA

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RA is opening my eyes to the complex world of high level, biological medicines. According to one source, the global market for TNF inhibitors (e.g. Enbrel, Humira, etc.) was $13.5 billion in 2008. Understandably, it takes years of research, clinical trials, and approval processes in multiple countries before a new medication hits the market. And recouping those costs is important since the pharmaceutical companies have so much invested. But these dollar amounts amaze me when I consider the exorbitant retail price (about $1,800 a month) and the fact that the FDA gives a 14 year lock on biologicals before making it generic (7 years for other drugs).

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