That particular drug is classed as one of the most expensive (by no means the most expensive), its just that that type of example is easier to find on a quick search.
I didn’t mention the following because I assumed that someone else would bring up the usual first response in an argument about the high cost of drugs in the USA.
The first standard defence from U.S. Big Pharma is that those prices drive costly research and development risk and this is why U.S. companies produce more new drugs than any other country.
That is arguable, but what isn’t arguable is that companies like GSK will readily pay fines from the U.S. Department of Justice of $2-$3BILLION after the accidental mis-labelling of two or three drugs simply to retain access to, by far, the most lucrative drug market in the world where they will get the very best return possible on any drug they develop themselves.
The other side of the argument is that ‘orphan drugs’ are so expensive as to be virtually inaccessible to most people outside the USA because other health services or health insurance policies wont cover the cost.
Another argument is that because health insurance companies pick up the cost for such expensive treatments that there is little incentive to keep pricing down because of the middle man between the drug manufacturer and end user.
This in turn drove Valeant (and others) to buy out small biotech companies who have developed orphan drugs and increase prices by up to 7,000%. It just so happens Valeant are the owner of the drug I named above at the time of that price being valid (it may still be, but the bragging by their CEO caused U.S. drug pricing to become a massive issue in the 2016 presidential election with both sides accusing drug companies of price gouging).
I think that the whole, price-driven R & D model is flawed and can’t be left to the free market. For example, the hunt for new antibiotics, a class of drug which have saved hundreds of millions of lives (including mine more than once) over the last 80 years, has been largely dropped by Big Pharma. Why? Because if they discover one, dosages will be strictly controlled to prolong their usefulness before bacterias adapt and become resistant and a standard antibiotic dose is usually just a few capsules over a week. Something they really can’t charge a lot for… therefore the rewards for discovery are limited.