In this video, Dr. S. Vincent Rajkumar (Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN) gives his point of view on how to lower the cost of cancer drugs to make them more affordable and accessible to patients in the U.S. and around the world. Dr. Rajkumar cites the following reasons for the high cost of cancer drugs:

1. A monopolistic nature to drug innovation (although he feels that pharmaceutical companies are not to be blamed for this).

2. Medicare is not able to negotiate directly with drug companies.

3. The U.S. does not allow drugs to be imported.

4. There are barriers to generic competitors entering the market.

Dr. Rajkumar then proposes the following solutions:

1. Allow Medicare to directly negotiate for the price of new drugs.

2. Allow personal importation of cancer drugs to patients with prescriptions for such drugs.

3. Allow easy entry of generic drugs into the U.S. (in a manner that doesn’t stifle innovation).


S. Vincent Rajkumar, M.D., is a Faculty hematologist/oncologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. He conducts research in multiple myeloma and related disorders. He has served as the principal investigator for pivotal clinical trials for the treatment of myeloma. Visit Dr. Rajkumar’s full biography.


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