Why Drugs Are Priced So High and Diagnostics So Low

Saurabh Jha, Assistant Professor of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania


Listen 0:00 The inconvenient truth about drug prices (5:28)

Listen 5:28 Are we headed for drug price controls? (6:41)

Listen 12:10 The War on Death (3:28)

Listen 15:38 Precision medicine and the intervention bias (7:06)

Listen 22:46 Why are molecular diagnostics priced so low? (4:09)

Pharma companies face escalated flack over high drug prices. Meanwhile the diagnostics industry toils away at comparative pennies to the dollar.

Today's guest, the irreverent and hilarious blogging radiologist, Saurabh Jha (@roguerad), offers an alternative view to the industry's knee jerk reaction to the drug pricing conversation. Saurabh's experience as a radiologist grappling with a medical culture of over diagnosis is on full display along with his typical biting sarcasm. (As background for the interview, we recommend his brilliantly titled blog, The War on Death). To those working to commercialize molecular diagnostics, Saurabh offers some bits of wisdom.

“I do think diagnostics should be more expensive, but I think they should be more expensive because they have some kind of expertise giving meaning to them. I’m very reluctant to simply giving people numbers. Numbers without context, by and large, is very dangerous,” he says.

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