The game changing drug for prostate cancer, Xtandi, has been hailed as one of the biggest advances in the fight against cancer. It's also got one of the highest price tags. In Canada the drug costs about $20 per pill, and that cost rises to $90 per pill in the US. Patients must take several pills a day and many cannot afford the drug. In the wake of the public outcry against the mind boggling price hike of EpiPens and a long approved drug Daraprim, the US Congress is looking into drug prices.
As for Xtandi, a small drug manufacturing company in Ontario Canada says that they can offer a generic form of the drug. When made by Biolyse Pharmaceuticals, the cost per pill is as low as $3. Despite the company offering to supply Canada, the United States and Africa with the drug for that price, the patent on it remains in place and no other company can offer it. Appeals to the National Institutes on Health have failed so as it stands, Pfizer, who acquired the drug by purchasing Medivation, the company who developed it, is the only supplier of it. Pfizer offers the drug to some patients free of charge, if there is a financial need, but for many, the drug remains out of reach and that is unlikely to change anytime soon.