By John Kell and Alan Murray
June 1, 2015

A leading cancer specialist attacked the high cost of new cancer drugs at a medical meeting Sunday.


Leonard Saltz, chief of gastrointestinal oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering, said the monthly price of new cancer drugs in the U.S. had more than doubled over the last decade, to nearly $10,000. The prices are “not related to the value of the drug” but rather “what the seller believes the market will bear.” Dr. Saltz’s particular focus was on a promising new melanoma treatment made by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.


Drug prices aren’t normally a focus of such scientific confabs, which tend to be sponsored by pharmaceutical companies. You can take this as a clear sign that dissatisfaction with drug company pricing is reaching a new peak. Dr. Saltz’s solution: Medicare should be allowed to “negotiate” with pharma on pricing.


Also on Sunday, an overflow crowd of some 3,000 people – more than has attended any recent Hillary Clinton rally — gathered to hear Sen. Bernie Sanders fiery rhetoric about income inequality and corporate greed. We don’t consider Sen. Sanders as a serious candidate, but his surging popularity will force Clinton to tack left.


Enjoy the day. We’ll spend it closing the magazine’s Fortune 500 issue, out on Thursday.




Alan Murray


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