Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

EMF Studies

17 April 2017

Pharmaceutical Giant 'Plotted to Destroy Cancer Drugs to Drive Prices Up 4,000%'


A loophole allows drug companies to change the price of
medicines if they are no longer branded with the same
name.  Bloomberg via Getty Images
Pharmaceutical giant 'plotted to destroy cancer drugs to drive prices up 4,000%'
by Katie Forster Health Correspondent, independent.co.uk
15 April 2017

Price rises for generic cancer drugs are estimated to cost the NHS in England around £380m a year

Leaked internal emails appear to show employees at one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies calling for “celebration” over price hikes of cancer drugs, an investigation has revealed.

Staff at Aspen Pharmacare reportedly plotted to destroy stocks of life-saving medicines during a price dispute with the Spanish health service in 2014.

After purchasing five different cancer drugs from British firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the company tried to sell the medicines in Europe for up to 40 times their previous price, reported The Times.

In 2013, the price of one pack of a generic chemotherapy drug called busulfan, used to treat leukaemia, rose from £5.20 to £65.22 in England and Wales, according to the newspaper.

The other four drugs, including Leukeran, also used by leukaemia patients, and melphalan (trade name Alkeran), for skin and ovarian cancers, also became up to four times more expensive.

Price rises for generic cancer drugs, such as those acquired by Aspen, cost the NHS in England around £380m a year for prescriptions dispensed outside hospitals, the European Cancer Congress has estimated.

In a confidential email published by The Times, an Aspen employee appeared to write: “We’ve signed new reimbursement and price agreement successfully: price increases are basically on line with European target prices (Leukeran, a bit higher!)... Let’s celebrate!”

When bargaining over drug prices in Spain, the pharmaceutical giant is said to have threatened to stop selling the cancer treatments unless the health minister agreed to price rises of up to 4,000 per cent, reported Spanish online newspaper El Confidencial Digital at the time.

Now another leaked email appears to reveal that staff at Aspen discussed destroying their supplies of the drug in the row.

No comments:

Post a Comment