Sign the Petition for Roche to cut Kadcyla Breast Cancer Drug Price

Roche: lower the cost of your breast cancer drug so public health services can afford it!

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Roche: lower the cost of your breast cancer drug so public health services can afford it!

Text by Margaret Connolly

Thirteen years ago, a five-year old boy told me all he wanted for Christmas was, “Just one thing, Auntie Margaret: Five minutes with my mummy.”

It broke my heart – his wonderful mummy, Helen Mulhearn, had suffered an awful death 16 months before due to late-diagnosed breast cancer. At that time there were not many drugs that could have helped her. Then four and a half years ago, I was found to have breast cancer too. I was lucky – I was diagnosed early, and with standard breast cancer suitable for a drug that cost just pennies, thank God.

A new drug developed by Roche, one of the biggest pharmaceutical gains in the world, could help these young women with advanced breast cancer — but Roche has priced the drug at £90,000, out of reach of both England and Scotland’s public health services. When asked why this drug was so expensive, Jennifer Cozzone — the head of pricing at Roche — actually said it reflects the “value” to the patient, effectively shutting out low-income patients!

Sign our Care2 petition today, and call on Roche to reduce the price of KADCYLA to a level that all public health services can cover! This drug should be available as a matter of course!

Sources and more information:
  • Roche: Lower the cost of your breast cancer drug so public health services can afford it!, Care2 Petition.
  • Petition Calls on Roche to Cut Breast Cancer Drug Price, medscape, October 22, 2014.

Kadcyla Breast Cancer Drug Trastuzumab Emtansine not approved on NHS

The breast cancer drug trastuzumab emtansine (also known as Kadcyla) will not be made routinely available on the NHS following a failure to reach an agreement on price between the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the drug’s manufacturer, Roche.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) says it cannot recommend a life-extending breast cancer drug due to its high price. The drug trastuzumab emtansine (also known as Kadcyla) costs around £90,000 per patient. Pharmaceuticals giant Roche said that “NICE is the first organisation to say no to Kadcyla”.

More information
  • Listen to @steve_lefevre talking about the cost of Kadcyla with Dr Seeruthun from @Roche on breakfast, BBC Radio tweet.
  • Pressure grows on Roche to lower breast cancer drug price,
    NICE news, 08 August 2014.
  • NHS says no to new breast cancer drug Kadcyla,
    BBC News Health, 08 August 2014.
  • Disappointment as breast cancer drug not approved on NHS, Cancer Research UK, News Report, 08 August 2014.
  • Trastuzumab Emtansine for HER2-Positive Advanced Breast Cancer,  NEJM, 10.1056/NEJMoa1209124, November 14, 2013.
  • Watch more pharma videos on our YouTube channel.