Would you pay $93,000 for four months of life?

A new drug can add four months to the lives of men suffering from incurable prostate cancer, but it costs $93,000. Today’s Question: Would you pay $93,000 for four months of life?

  • Gary F

    If I could afford it, maybe.

    If a son/daughter was getting married in the next 3 months, maybe.

    If I was expecting a grandchild, maybe.

    If I needed to sell or closeout a business, maybe.

    I don’t have prostate cancer and couldn’t afford it as of now.

  • Sue de Nim

    $93,000 would buy a lot of vaccine for poor African kids. It would seem awfully selfish of me to consume that much of the world’s resources for a mere four months.

  • Dan

    Throw in a jet pack and you’ve got yourself a buyer!

  • Ron

    Absolutely not. It’s an incredible waste of money, at least on my planet.

  • Khatti

    If I had the money…yeah. I’m terrified of dying

  • bsimon

    What kind of life? If I’m confined to a bed, plugged into machines, four additional months of waiting to die is not appealing. If it gets me out of bed & out visiting with family & friends, I’d be more inclined to pay for at least one of those months.

  • Michelle

    Depends on how old I was when I needed four months to live. Now? Probably, given I had the money… I want to live this life to the fullest!

    But when I am 95 and have already lived a great life? No way. If I had $93,000 at the time, I’d make sure it went to something more useful.

  • Steve the Cynic

    What does it say about our world, that it’s more profitable for a drug company to sell a drug that extends the life of rich white guys by a mere four months than to find a vaccine for Malaria? Shame on us!

  • Ed

    This is a prime example of why end of life cost it totally out of hand. When your time comes accept it gracefully and say goodbye to your loved ones. There is no sense in burdening them with a huge bill that will cripple their financial life. Now, if you’re one of the few that can afford it…

  • Cathi Tristani-Kendra

    Until you are faced with this question you really don’t know how you will answer. My sister’s husband died this spring at 43 from colon cancer. He was in the process of getting an expensive treatment that would give him 3 more months. They have 9 year old twins. Of course, he wanted the extra 3-4 months. Before, I would have said no to the question, but now, I don’t know, it depends on the situation.

  • Karl

    No. Not so long as others are going without basic care. Living is a terminal illness. I am sure that money could go to much better use on others.

  • Clark

    Sure why not, send the invoice to obama and pelosi, the way they spend money, whats another $95 grand.

  • Laurie

    No. There is too much money spent on end-of-life care. People should live their lives healthfully as long as they can. When the downhill starts, face it gracefully and be thankful for the time you have had. People are not meant to live as long as some people do now – especially when in poor health and no memory, hearing, eyesight, or mobility. I am currently working on a living will and would not want my life extended in order to live a miserable life and cost my family members additional grief and financial hardship.

  • CJ

    I’d really like to think that if I was actually sitting on a wad of cash like that, I could think of something better to do with it than buy a few weeks of time before the next great adventure. I’m not afraid of dying, I just have a lot to do first. I might be tempted to use it to make sure I get to check out when I’m ready, without having to fight about it with moralists or control freaks who think they have the right to tell people how to die. But hopefully, I’d chose to use it to do something lovely for those left behind. One thing I do know, my fellow humans, we should not be about the business of judging others for questions we really don’t know how we’d answer until it was more than just rhetorical musing at the MPR news site.

  • Matt A

    It would have to be the greatest four months in the existence of any person ever.

    Truthfully though, I’d want that $93,000 to be spent on something which will allow people to remember me for years to come.

    What’s your life worth if it isn’t worth someone remembering?

  • Al

    Any day I can tell my wife I love her, tell my kids I love them, and I am so proud of them, that’s a day I’ll take, whatever the cost.

  • Luke Van Santen

    Perhaps a better line of questioning would be – Why does this treatment cost $93k? Is it TRULY because it cost that much to develop? Or is it because the manufacturer can extort that much from us while they sell it for less elsewhere? Or because they have to recoup costs from marketing direct to consumers? Or, is it so expensive because they have to keep their string of record profit quarters intact?

    For the question as it stands, it depends on too many different criteria to be able to answer without more info…


    No, not even if I had more than enough money. It is my understanding that living with cancer is painful and depressing. I would never pay to live in agony.

  • Sarah B

    My brother past away in June at the age of 25. He suffered from heart disease. If the doctors would have approached our family while he lay dying in his bed and told us that we could help him live for another four months for $93,000, I know my family would have said Yes. I think when you are in a situation of seeing someone you love die, you would do anything to have just one more day with them.

  • DNA

    If it happened today with my $10.00 in the bank and spare change at home … I’d have a dilemma. I’d rather focus on Cannabis/Hemp oils and sacraments for healing, inspiration and comfort … and very likely, life extension.

    Cannabis/Hemp/Ganja is a gentle yet powerful medicine and sacrament. It should be available worldwide to grow and produce for every good purpose.

    The criminalization of Cannabis/Hemp/Ganja was unconstitutional and not for the benefit of the people or the planet.

    People (all of us) and the planet can be healthy, wealthy and wise given the right understanding and action, the seeds of prosperity are with us (and within us), let us use them and evolve collectively (not just corporately).

  • http://http Susan

    Absolutely not, if I were suffering and terminal. I would much rather leave the $93,000 to my husband and daughter.

  • Izzi

    What is quantity of life without quality, at any price?

  • Joanna Campbell

    Depends on the quality of those four months. If it simply prolongs suffering, likely not.

  • http://www.changent.com Bill Turner

    The question is wrong. The right question is “Why does this drug cost so much?”. The answer to that is the monopoly protection granted to the industry via the patent system. There are alternatives such as those offered by Dean Baker (for example, see Financing Drug Research: What Are the Issues?). This is truly inexcusable once you understand how much taxpayer money is pumped into research and how little research big pharma actually does (they buy the fruits of the labor of others, mostly). This system leads to copycat drugs with dubious improvements, and little spending on the drugs that would best help mankind. Does anyone remember the flu vaccine shortage last year?

  • Nick

    I don’t by any means, want to belittle anyone who has struggled directly or indirectly with cancer of any kind. I would simply like to point out that, the 94,000 dollars could instead save the lives of thousands of mal-nurished children in Africa. As opposed to one person for 4 months.

  • jim hughes

    Bill Turner is right – the correct question is, how can the price of a drug be so high?

    Cathi Tristani-Kendra is also right – the only answer that matters is the one you would give when actually facing this question.

  • Peter

    Comments on where the money could better be spent are certainly valid. Seems if someone could afford such a fee, there would be money in the bank for charity as well.

    If a person could not afford it, they would not pay.

    It is only a question of the ability to afford it.

  • Kevin VC

    What happened to the Hypocratic Oath???

    What ?

    The rich get to live while the poor do not?

    What if it was between a rich guy who made is money and helping a person who is a known genius?

    The genius does not have the money and the rich guy does….

    Knowing ones value is not fairly measured by their bank account.

    Maybe if you pooled a ton of people together, and then spread that fee among that population I doubt ANYONE would really fault the needs of the person in peril.

    We need to work together, we are not islands unto ourselves.

  • kennedy

    People can choose what they want to do with their own money.

    The more difficult question “Should our taxes be made available to assist those who cannot afford the treatment?”

  • brian

    If I had access to $93,000 and had four months to live, I would want that money to go to my children. We all have to think of those who come after us.

    That said, I also believe this is a decision that people should make for themselves. It’s a personal, ethical question.

  • http://www.idealpolicy.com rose

    No. let life and death unfold naturally.