STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

UK NHS cancer patients denied drugs due to inflated prices – say experts

Research reveals how drug firms are charging health service such high prices, some treatments can no longer be offered

Cancer patients are being denied drugs on the NHS that could lengthen their lives because of unnecessarily exorbitant prices, say experts. The drugs are cheap to make, and are available to patients in some other countries at much lower prices, according to new research.

Patients in the UK have been told the NHS will not pay for two such drugs because they are not cost-effective and they have been dropped from the list reimbursed by the government’s special cancer drugs fund.

The price of lapatinib (brand name Tyverb), for breast cancer, was set at $36,000 (£24,000) per patient per year in the UK but costs $17,724 in Thailand. Dasatinib (Sprycel), for leukaemia, was priced at $33,739 in the UK but at $15,423 in Brazil.

The researchers also ask why the UK is not succeeding in obtaining better discounts from drugs the NHS does use. Even some other high-income countries manage to barter the manufacturers down to lower prices than in the UK.

Imatinib (Gleevec) – for leukaemia and some other cancers – costs $31,867 in the UK but $28,675 in France and just $8,370 in Russia. Sorafenib (Nexavar), for liver cancer, costs $57,232 in the UK but $49,715 in Spain and $44,543 in France.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/sep/23/uk-cancer-patients-being-denied-drugs-due-to-inflated-prices-say-experts

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