UACT is disappointed by the preliminary rejection of Yescarta by the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) over its high price, for two reasons: 1) Gilead is asking too much for the treatment which is largely based upon the US National Institutes of Health (NIH owned inventions, and 2) the UK government has not given any public indication it is considering alternatives to withholding coverage to address the problem of an excessive price. Yescarta is the Gilead trade name for axicabtagene ciloleucel, a CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T) technology invented by the NIH, licensed to Kite/Gilead and approved by theRead More →

The Union for Affordable Cancer Treatment (UACT) welcomes the news that a Russian court has approved a compulsory license for patents held by Celgene for the cancer drug lenalidomide, marketed in many countries under the trade name Revlimid. Compulsory licenses on patents can promote health and protect the interests of cancer patients when there is excessive pricing and other abuses of a legal monopoly. Since entering the market, Revlimid has generated more than $46 billion in sales for Celgene, including $2.3 billion in the first three months of 2018. In the United States, Celgene still claims the drug is protected by 26 patented inventions andRead More →

UACT applauds the Chilean Congress resolution calling on the President to advance the compulsory licensing request on HCV drugs made in March 2017 by patients, advocates including Innovarte NGO, and elected officials. The resolution, Number 1014, passed by a 96-0 vote with one abstention, and includes the signatures of representatives across the entire political spectrum 1. In Chile, the private market price of sofosbuvir at the time of the compulsory licensing request was approximately $36,000 USD per patient. This price is well in excess of Chile’s GNI per capita of $14,100 USD 2. The Ministry of Health currently pays $7,000 USD for a three-month supplyRead More →

On December 12, 2017, the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), a United Nations-backed public health organisation with the mission to increase access to HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis treatments in low- and middle-income countries, made a welcome announcement for cancer patients: the expansion of MedsPaL. MedsPaL is a database created to provide information on the intellectual property status of priority medicines in developing countries, to patented treatments on the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Model List of Essential Medicines (EML), and its expansion is certainly a step in the right direction.   UACT was encouraged to see that data on patents for certain medicines to treat chronicRead More →

For the Chair of the Curie Institute in Paris, Prof. Thierry Philip, high prices of cancer medicines will soon be unsustainable. What should be done? His suggestions: transparency, delinkage and patients’ involvement. On October 24, 2017, Eric Favereau of Liberation interviewed the eminent Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Curie Institute in Paris, Professor Thierry Philip. The focus of the interview was how to control the unsustainable increase of cancer drug prices. The journalist asked many interesting questions that need to be asked, among them: was Prof. Thierry Philip worried about the cost of cancer drugs today? What would he recommend we doRead More →