But 19-month-old Teddi is now a happy, healthy and chatty toddler after becoming the first baby to receive a new £2.8 million cure on the NHS.
An horrendous story – her older sister cannot be cured the same way, it’s too late in the progression of the disease.
But of course, the bastards, £2.8 million?
Around four babies a year in England are born with MLD
The treatment has cost somewhere between $1 and $2 billion to bring to market. Much of that is in the testing process. Well, we can all have arguments about whether the testing process should cost that much and all. But that is about the cost of bringing a new drug or treatment to market.
Whether it’s capitalists in pharma companies or taxpayers doing the work, it’s still a billion and more. So, the cost of a treatment is that £2.8 million or around and about. Where the money comes from doesn’t change that the resources that had to be devoted to getting the treatment into use are the resources that had to be used to get the treatment into use. That’s simply the cost.
Because any protection on the treatment – patents I would assume here – will last about 10 years of the treatment’s life. After that it becomes a generic. So, the first 10 years of treatments must pay the costs of development. The UK is about 5% – -ish, -ish – of the rich world population that will even think of applying this treatment, so there are perhaps 80 kids a year globally who are going to take it. 800 over the decade, $2.8 million = £2 billion and change. Total revenue from something that cost $1 to $2 billion to develop.
Note the important point here. This drug costs society £2 billion – -ish, -ish. Whether this is taxpayer funding through the development process and then free at the point of use. Or capitalists developing and then taxpayers paying through the NHS. Or even capitalists and then out of pocket. The cost of saving these 800 lives is £2 billion.
The allocation of the costs is interesting, the cost itself is just the universe stating a fact.