In the Headlines, Bold Breakthroughs, Personal Thoughts & On the Lighter Side

In the Headlines, Bold Breakthroughs, Personal Thoughts & On the Lighter Side

In the Headlines, Bold Breakthroughs, Personal Thoughts & On the Lighter Side 2560 1696 AEPC Health

A Million Dollars

The 1990s hit “If I Had $1,000,000” by the Canadian band Barenaked Ladies remains one of their most iconic songs. Known for its witty and whimsical lyrics, the song playfully explores what the singer would do if they suddenly came into a million dollars.

The lyrics humorously detail a range of purchases, from the extravagant, like a house or exotic pets to more ordinary ones. As a Dodge K-Car owner, I can’t help but smile at the line: “If I had a million dollars, well, I’d buy you a K-Car, a nice reliant automobile.”

For all you Kraft mac and cheese lovers (called Kraft Dinner in Canada), the singer reassures us that even with a million dollars, it will still be a mainstay:

We wouldn’t have to eat Kraft Dinner
But we would eat Kraft Dinner
Of course we would, we’d just eat more
And buy really expensive ketchups with it
That’s right, all the fanciest, Dijon ketchup, mm, mm

Fast Forward
The Barenaked Ladies recently announced plans to update the song’s lyrics. They realized that the song is difficult  to relate to if you were not around in the K-Car era! And a million isn’t what it used to be. With 85% inflation rate over the last 31 years, the song will now be titled “If I Had $1,850,000”!

The Barenaked Ladies are not alone in recognizing that the value of a million dollars has changed over time. In 2010, the costliest drug had annual expenses per patient that peaked at just over $400,000. Fast forward to today, and gene therapies are hitting the market with price tags in the millions.

Given that gene therapies are typically administered by physicians, their costs fall under the medical benefits rather than prescription drug benefit. However, the prescription drug benefit isn’t immune from the impact of near million-dollar costs for a single drug for a single patient. For instance, annual expenses for a patient receiving Amondys, a pharmceutical treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), can reach approximately $1 million. Similarly, Firdapse, utilized in the treatment of the autoimmune condition Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) in adults, can exceed $500,000 per year. Medications for other conditions like cystic fibrosis and hemophilia can also exceed $400,000 annually.

Gene therapies and other new specialty medications are life-changing for those afflicted with the condition. While some therapies offer outright cures, others markedly enhance patients’ quality of life. However, paying for these treatments poses a challenge within the existing US healthcare framework. Perhaps the need to pay for these groundbreaking medications will expedite the establishment of a universal healthcare system.

Happy Reading!

Suzanne Daniels

  • In the Headlines: Medicare & obesity drugs, ultra-processed foods & health, reduce cervical cancer deaths with post screening follow-up.
  • Bold Breakthroughs: $4.25M gene therapy, skin biopsy for Parkinson’s diagnosis, new COVID-19 protection for immune compromised.
  • Personal Thoughts: Oprah on weight loss, miracle of gene therapy, losing Mirandas.
  • On the Lighter Side: including my personal favorite, Two Decades After They Were Stolen, Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers Returned to the Scene of the Crime!

Enjoy the weekend!

Suzanne Daniels, Ph.D.
AEPC President
P.O. Box 1416
Birmingham, MI 48012
Office: (248) 792-2187
Email: [email protected]

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