In recent months, I’ve been taking a medication called Revlimid, given as a “late therapy” for multiple myeloma. Since it looks like I may be Revlimid-dependent for a while, I decided to educate myself about the drug. As the chemistry is beyond me, I focused my attention elsewhere.

The first thing I discovered was that Revlimid is phenomenally expensive.

A single twenty-one-day cycle of treatment at the lowest dose of 5 mg daily costs the NHS £3,570. As the dose rises, so does the price: for a single twenty-one-day cycle at the high dose of 25 mg, it’s £4,318. The increment is small because the costs of actually manufacturing the drug are minimal. But whatever it is that we’re paying for, we’re paying for it through the nose: between £42,000 and £51,000 per patient for a year’s treatment. This is a treatment we need, and to which we have a right. That does not, however, mean that its cost should be taken for granted.

Read the full extract at openDemocracy.