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A High Cost for Health

Insurance companies and drugmakers are wrestling with the high cost of making and administering biologic drugs, says Avery Johnson on the Wall Street Journal's Health blog. These drugs can cost as much as $1.5 million a year, and patients and prescription plan payers are having a hard time affording them. On the other hand, Johnson adds, some of these drugs have "dramatic" results, sending sometimes-fatal diseases into remission. Pharmaceutical companies say it costs a lot to make these drugs -- hence the high price. Both drugmakers and insurers agree that there is a need for a patient registry to collect data on which drugs work for which patients, so that they can be more selectively administered to do the most good, Johnson says, though doctors have so far been resistant to this idea.