The NHS drug approval body – NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) has turned down a breast cancer drug that offers women with advanced breast cancer about 6 months longer. The NHS are developing something of a list of breast cancer drugs they have refused to pay for.
The NICE is saying that £90,000 per course is too much to pay, and they have a point. The manufacturers, Roche, who are asking for all this money per patient, criticised the NHS saying the drug is needed.
The drug, or some drug that performs the same function is needed, but do Roche need to charge so much?
Roche profits for 2013 were 11.37 billion.
So they are making plenty of money from sick people and the health service, and their criticisms might be more acceptable, if they were willing to drop their prices.
And why isn’t the NHS doing something about pharma pricing? As a big spending client of the main 4 drugs companies, they are in a position to bargain on prices of drugs, so why arent they using this muscle to buy treatments at a reasonable price.
But the decision was criticised by Roche and some breast cancer charities, which say the drug is needed and that Nice has turned down too many breast cancer drugs already.
The drug, called Kadcyla (generic name tra