A group of 100 leading cancer specialists have spoken out about high prices for cancer drugs. Some chronic myeloid leukaemia treatments approved in the US, but not licensed in the UK range between £76,000 and £100,000 per patient per year. The cost of the drug Gilvec has in fact risen since all the original research costs were covered.
In the journal Blood the physicians say that the unsustainable expense "may be causing harm to patients" and are advocating that reasonable prices are "a necessity to save the lives of patients who cannot afford them".
Pirate Party Leader Loz Kaye said:
"The extent of this profiteering is truly shocking. Companies hold the power of life and death over patients."
“In the Pirate Party we have always pointed out that the current drug patent system is what is driving prices up. Far from encouraging affordable medicine and innovation patents are being used to halt development, and increase profits in an unethical way."
"We can not have the debate about the NHS without addressing the issue of pharmaceutical companies' profits. Generic medicines improve competition which will bring vital savings for our hard pressed health service. This benefits patients and taxpayers."