It can be even more expensive!

imageOn January 13 I wrote about the cost of Glivec. I found out that the cost of this medicine came to a staggering amount of € 210,000.00 per kilo and that was more than 6 times as expensive as gold. So to avoid that I would feel guilty, I also had looked up that the daily cost of a prisoner were just over € 30 higher.

But coincidence does not exist. This is evident from the fact that exactly a month after I had written that post I was on (Friday!) February 13 forced to switch over to Suminitib. An agent that fortunately has the slightly easier brand name Sutent.
It means that I now have to take daily 37.5 mg, divided into a small capsules of 25 mg and 12.5 mg. Compared to the Glivec 400 mg pills they are much smaller and in addition I only need to take them once a day. What also makes the discipline to do this very strictly became a bit more easy (not that I had trouble with it, but you’re constantly looking for positive points of view).

Anyway, I thought let me now also look what the actually costs of Sutent are. And thanks to Google’s that’s not a big problem. A short time later, I had already found out that you have to pay € 139 for those two capsules Sutent. On a daily basis. But because 800 mg Glivec was € 168 it looks like it’s less expensive this time.
Nevertheless, other people may complain about the high cost of health insurance in the Netherlands, but when you need it then you’re really overjoyed that it is there. Especially since I regularly read how much effort GIST patients in some other countries have to meet the costs of these drugs. Or simply can not afford it. You should not really think about it. There is a medicine available, but you have not the means to buy it. In short, I’m glad to live in the Netherlands.

However, because of my curiosity about the cost of the medication I searched a little further. Because Glivec was already more than 6 times as expensive as gold, so how about this Suminitib substance? The outcome was really astonishing. The price per kilo of Glivec was € 210,000.00, but for Sutent I calculated the costs are up to € 3,712,000 per kilo. That’s about 107x the costs of a kilogram gold!

It’s almost impossible to comprehend, but to put everything in the right perspective once again the Internet offers a solution. I find a list of the most expensive substances (per gram) and it shows that this Suminitib with € 3,712 per gram is still slightly cheaper than Plutonium by approximately € 4,000 per gram. And that’s the stuff that among others is used in nuclear weapons.
Others do not have to agree with it, but nevertheless in that light, I’ll personally concluded that the money for this expensive Sutent is better spent to me.

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