We all know how expensive prescription medications can be, especially when you don't have insurance or your insurance refuses to cover them. We think we have it rough, but there are some people out there who are paying thousands more for a monthly dose of medicine that was designed to keep them alive. It might seem overkill, but the companies know people will pay for a cure to their unique ailment.
We have discovered the most expensive prescription medications currently on the market. The price tags attached to some of these will shock you and give you a different perspective on the world of private pharma agencies. Keep reading to learn about the ten most expensive prescription drugs!
10 Folotyn ($33,000)
This is generically known as Pralatrexate and is a form of chemotherapy that is used to treat relapsed or refractory peripheral T-cell lymphoma (R/R PTCL). This is an aggressive cancer of the blood and is usually found in a patient's lymph nodes. These treatments are given in seven-week cycles with one dose a week at $8,250.
This adds up to $33,000 per month, but each treatment cycle comes in at around $49,500. This is quite expensive for such a small amount of medicine, which is a shame because these treatments have been known to save lives.
9 Takhzyro ($47,818)
This is another treatment for a hereditary condition called hereditary angioedema. This condition triggers immune responses that lead to massive swelling. A few of the triggers might be a change in temperature, certain medications, or allergic reactions. This medicine is injected beneath the skin once or twice a month and the costs can add up quickly.
Most people on average pay around $47,818 per month for this medication, which is what many people make in a single year. It might seem like a ridiculous amount to us, but anything is better than losing your oxygen supply because your throat decided to swell five times its size.
8 Actimmune ($47,962)
The formal name of this medicine is Interferon Gamma-1b and is used to help prevent infections caused by chronic granulomatous disease (GCD). This is a disorder that disables a person's immune system and makes them more susceptible to deadly infections. It is given as a shot three times a week and is injected beneath the skin.
The vials add up to a monthly cost of $47,962, but for some this high price is worth it. It allows people to go back to their normal lives, while still taking precautions, and anything is better than fighting a serious infection.
7 Ravicti ($633,072) $52,756
Ravicti is formally known as glycerol phenylbutyrate and is used on patients with urea cycle disorders (UCD) who have difficulty managing their symptoms with diet alone. This is a hereditary disorder that causes high levels of ammonia to form in the blood, which can lead to a coma, death, or cause brain damage.
This medication is taken orally every day, which adds up to a grand total of $52,756 per month. You might be wondering why anyone would pay this much, but when you are at risk of brain damage, this might be your only option for survival.
6 Soliris ($56,532)
Soliris is given through an IV and is known in the medical field as Eculizumab. Patients who use this expensive medication suffer from paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH). This is a genetic disorder that can lead to blood in the urine and puts patients at an increased risk for blood clots.
Treatment is given every two weeks and comes at the monthly cost of $56,532 which is more than many of us can afford. This number can change depending upon the severity of the patient's illness, but no matter what we can all agree that it is extremely expensive.
5 Spinraza ($62,500)
Spinraza helps those who suffer from spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) by increasing the production of survival motor neuron proteins. SMA is where the body does not produce enough of these proteins due to a gene mutation or deletion, which can lead to muscle atrophy due to the spinal cord not receiving signals from the brain.
It is given to a patient through an intrathecal injection, otherwise known as an injection to the spine. It is given through a four-month-long process that continues throughout the entire year. The average price per month for this medicine is $62,500, but the effects are worth the large amounts of cash.
4 Myalept ($64,860)
This drug was first approved back in 2014 and comes in the form of an injection. Patients with congenital or acquired generalized lipodystrophy use it to treat the complications associated with their condition.
Patients with this condition resist insulin and this leads to a loss of adipose tissue in their bodies. The medication is used daily, but it can add up to a monthly cost of $64,860. This might seem fairly expensive, but taking it is better than suffering the consequences of the alternative.
3 Blincyto ($106,800)
This drug is generically known as Blinatumomab and it is a chemotherapy treatment used to battle acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). It is given through an IV for a total of twenty-eight days and it is not to be messed with. The company recommends you remain hospitalized for the first few days of each new cycle.
It comes at a cost of $106,800 per month which covers an entire treatment cycle. Patients can only receive five cycles per year, but the high price of this medication is due to the fact that this cancer is so rare. People didn't choose to be sick, but they always have the choice to go into debt in order to become healthy.
2 Luxturna ($850,000)
Luxturna is used to combat the effects of biallelic RPE65 mutation-associated retinal dystrophy. This is a fancy name for a disease that causes full or partial blindness, as well as involuntary eye movements, due to a mutation of a specific gene set. It is usually seen in children and young adults and it is a rare inherited condition.
This is given as a subretinal injection, but it only works if the patient still has viable retinal cells. It comes at a cost of $850,000 in a single month, as it is a one-time treatment option. The price tag might be high, but sight is worth the cost of this vision-saving medication.
1 Zolgensma ($2.125 Million)
Zolgensma is a form of gene therapy that is used to treat spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). This drug may treat the same condition as Spinraza, but it takes a different approach to the problem. Instead of repairing the gene, it replaces it completely with a functioning copy. The effects are astounding as the body goes back to producing the proteins the body needs in order to avoid atrophy.
It is given through an IV and can only be used on patients who are less than two years old. The medicine is used only one time, but it comes at a price of $2.125 million. This might seem scandalous, but they have justified the price by comparing it to Spinraza, who continually makes larger profits through their continuous drug regimen.