Fact-checking Bill Maher on cancer drug price hikes

HBO talk show host Bill Maher discusses high pharmaceutical costs on an Oct. 2, 2015 episode of the HBO show "Real Time." (Screengrab)
HBO talk show host Bill Maher discusses high pharmaceutical costs on an Oct. 2, 2015 episode of the HBO show "Real Time." (Screengrab)

Patients used to pay $10,000 a year for cancer drugs, but now they’re paying $10,000 a month, according to HBO talk show host Bill Maher.

Maher discussed Turing Pharmaceuticals, the company that jacked up the cost of a life-saving drug from $13.50 to $750 essentially overnight, during the Oct. 2 episode of Real Time with Bill Maher.

"Not that (Turing CEO Martin) Shkreli is unusual for the pharmaceutical industry," Maher said on his show. "Fifteen years ago, cancer drugs cost an average of $10,000 a year. Now it’s $10,000 a month because this cartel owns the U.S. government every bit as much as Mexican drug lords own theirs."

It’s well known that the cost of health care is on the rise, but has the annual cost of cancer drugs really increased so dramatically in just a decade and a half?

Read the fact-check to find out.