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The U.S. health system could get some relief from rising drug prices from an unlikely source: a venture capitalist starting a new company to try to make medicines less expensive. 

Alexis Borisy, 47, is a fixture in Boston biotech, known for his striking felt fedoras. He co-founded Foundation Medicine and Blueprint Medicines, both of them based in Cambridge, Mass., and focused, in different ways, on using genetics to treat cancer — the kind of approach that has produced remarkable outcomes but also driven up the price of drugs. His next company, called EQRx and being launched Monday, seeks to bring them down. He will serve as both CEO and chairman.

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  • STAT should ask a few skeptical questions. For starters:

    Who is going to sell these products? EQRx? Or will they license them to someone else?

    If the latter, how will they have control over price (the situation of many signatories to the recent industry letter published by STAT)?

    If the former, they’re going to need quite a sales force to sell these products in the number of therapeutic areas they’ve announced. Or are they expecting price alone to move these products? That’s kind of risky, given how biosimilars have fared so far (thanks to the middlemen profiting off high list prices and high rebates).

  • What’s the difference between an “equivalar” and what are normally referred to as “me too” drugs? Won’t the equivalars need to go through costly clinical trials too?

  • the price of all drugs could have been taken down years ago if they came under the same rules as Medicare

    Few remember that:

    Medicare worked well since 1966

    fewer seem to realize that:

    Medicare For ALL will work better

    even fewer know this:

    MediCURE FOR ALL is the true panacea and will work even better!

    check out

    3 minute read

    see the upper link for the way forward

    lets make it happen now


  • Only 2-3 new drugs out of 10 recover their R&D costs, which increase exponentially each year, primarily due to FDA-mandated clinical trials. This applies not just to first-in-class drugs, but the ones that follow along. If this new company doesn’t recover their costs, they won’t be in business long.

  • Of course, we all want the price of drugs to be lower.

    I am curious about the legal liability if someone is harmed by these drugs made by new company. Will they be protected by law like the generic drug companies??Will these drugs carry same warnings as their “blockbuster” counterpart?

    Consumers are unaware they have no legal recourse should something happen to them on a “generic” drug.
    Only a few states where you can hold a generic manufacturer accountable for harms/death from their product.

    • @Kim
      It seems that Borisy is proposing to develop entirely new patented drugs to compete with and undercut established ones. They make Coke, he makes Pepsi. These would be patented and not be legally treated as generics.

  • Matthew: Alexis Borisy’s talk is PURE fantasy. No matter how you skin it and for that matter anyone skins it, any and every NEW drug whether a replacement or NEW NEW are not going to be affordable. Has anyone ever reverse calculated rug prices? Most likely NO.
    Table 1 in linked shows some of the drug prices at different levels If these venture capitalists think they can sell a new drug [API selling price @ 50/kilo (which is high for any chemical)] at 5 cents a tablet, they are dreaming. PBMs and Insurance companies to retain their profits will not let that happen.

    New drugs at let’s say at 5 cents or for that matter 15 cents per tablet is “figment of Borisy’s or anyone’s imagination.

    I will give these venture capitalists a challenge. Figure out how to sell some of the drugs outlined in the link above at 2-5 cents per tablet. If they can do that for some of mass need drugs, US population would say that they can walk the talk. Otherwise it’s just another fantasy for the new folks to write. Sorry Matthew!

  • The problem with prescription drugs now is the venture capitalists. As drug prices went up, the FDA was undermined, and taxpayer funded research was exploited. With virtually no regulation of the marketing, lies and hype, we expect plenty of articles like this about innovative venture capitalists, caring big tech firms, with nonsense and propaganda about bringing prices down. It is very clear that the fear of Bernie Sanders Medicare For All, is frightening the heck out of these profiteers and the propagandists and content marketers that try to put a nice face on these greedy and corrupt individuals, and the protected, taxpayer subsidized corporations.
    American people are fed up and no longer falling for these pieces of propaganda and lies, a pig is still a pig, even when they dress it up!

    Unfortunately Americans Die or go bankrupt and lose their homes every day, because the healthcare industry news is full of this deceptive marketing mixed with PR and content marketing.

  • This makes even less sense than Combinatorix. People don’t develop drugs with the objective of pricing them high – they work long and hard just to pass the thresholds of safety and efficacy. Having a different pricing strategy doesn’t make the discovery and development process easier or higher probability but it does make it harder generate a return for investors.

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