In 2012, former U.S. President Barack Obama declared in his State of the Union address that he is appointing then Vice President Joe Biden as head of a multi-billion dollar “Moonshot Project” to cure cancer in the light of Mr. Biden’s son’s death due to the disease.
Unfortunately for Biden and the rest of us who might also be in danger of dying from any chronic, debilitating disease, Big Pharma has too much at stake if they were to find a cure for cancer. Consider this: in 2012 alone, Americans spent a humongous US$325.8 billion on medications alone – and that year was the first time that spending on medications went down in decades.
Just like the standard cough and cold formulations that generate billions of dollars each year for Big Pharma, cancer treatments merely maintain and not provide a cure for cancer.
Making Money on Cancer
As reported on the website “End of the American Dream”, Americans supposedly have a 1-in-3 chance of developing some form of cancer. They say the probability is even higher among males, close to a 1-in-2 chance. These statistics are not even new since practically everyone knows someone who had or is being treated for cancer.
It has been said that back in the 1940s, only 1 out of every 16 Americans had cancer. Unfortunately, something happened to cause the cancer rate in the U.S. to explode like a grenade. At that time, it was forecasted that cancer will beat heart disease and become the number 1 cause of death in the United States!
The World Health Organization (WHO) assessed that about 14 million people are diagnosed with cancer each year. This estimate is expected to increase by 70% in the next 20 years. Moreover, according to the Global Oncology Trend Report of the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, global spending on cancer medications increased by 10.3% in 2014 or a total of US$100 billion from only US$75 billion in 2010. The increase in spending was attributed to new and more expensive cancer medications introduced into the market between 2010 and 2014.
A very expensive treatment but highly ineffective
Despite the introduction of new conventional ways of treating cancer, why is it that the number of new cancer cases is still increasing yearly? Murray Aitken, IMS Institute Executive Director, said they are onto a near breakthrough for cancer treatment soon. I say I have reservations about the cancer breakthrough since it is against the principles of Big Pharma to make or even announce such a discovery since any cancer cure is bound to deprive them of their millions of dollars income every year.
Statistics provided by Health Impact News stated that at the turn of the 20th century, about 1 person in 20 would get cancer. By the end of the 1940s, that statistic increased to 1 in 16, and later in the 1970s, about 1 in 10 people. Currently, 1 out of 3 people is expected to develop cancer in their lifetime.
The billions of dollars that Big Pharma supposedly channels into the discovery of traditional cancer treatments might just be hearsay or the consortium’s lip service. The real truth is Big Pharma will always try to recoup or make money out of the misfortunes of others – by charging exorbitant prices for new anti-cancer drugs. Take for example Dendreon’s Provenge prostate cancer drug; it costs about US$93,000 for one course of treatment. Who in the Philippines can afford that?
That’s why up to now, the 5-year survival rate for those diagnosed with cancer is still 65%. The balance of 35% won’t survive the 5-year period.
How about you, what is your take on the issue of why Big Pharma will never be able to find the cure for cancer? We’d love to know your ideas in the comments section below.