On Tuesday I got a prescription for Gleevec. Gleevec is a drug that actually works very well against cml. It's only been out since 2001, but in the major study done on it, 90% of patients were still in remission after 5 years on the drug. This is a great thing since the only know possible cure for cml is a bone marrow transplant. In contrast to Gleevec, a bmt kills 25% of the people who undergo the procedure. It also involves very high dose radiation chemotherapy to prepare your body to accept the new stem cells.
So you could say Gleevec is a fucking miracle. The side effects are rare and usually small. They include nausea, fatigue, dizzyness, etc. Not too bad for a drug that keeps cancer at bay.
So how much do you think Gleevec costs? Consider that it's almost a cure for (one kind of) cancer. Would you believe $5000 per month? (Yes, five thousand.)
I'm damn glad about my health insurance coverage now. Someone at Blue Shield is pissing in their pants.