Drug maker 'will make $21 billion from treating cystic fibrosis' - (The Guardian via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Study data published in the journal Healthcare Policy estimate that Vertex Pharmaceuticals will generate more than $21 billion in profits from its cystic fibrosis drugs Orkambi and Kalydeco, The Guardian reported Monday.

  • In the study, the investigators found that despite investing $11.8 billion in the development of cystic fibrosis drugs, the drugmaker will amass profits of $21.1 billion over the lifetimes of the drugs.

  • "You put all this money into R&D because it has been enormously profitable for you and you think you are going to be able to charge a lot of money in the future," commented study author Aiden Harris, adding "if you choose to take your money and reinvest it in something, it doesn't mean you didn't make profits."

  • For the quarter ended June 30, Vertex stated that revenue jumped 25% year-over-year, while the drugmaker raised its full-year profit forecast from $3.6 billion to $3.7 billion.

  • The news comes as the NHS has failed to reach an agreement with Vertex regarding the price of the treatment, while the Scottish Medicines Consortium will decide whether to approve the drug this week.

  • "Between 2012 and 2017 our [R&D] costs represented over 70% of our total operating expenses," Vertex commented, adding "the price of our medicines is based on the value they bring and the difference they make to patients' lives, their families and societies, as well as the significant R&D investment we have made to develop them and our commitment to finding future treatments."

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