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 following is the UACT Statement on the July 26, 2018 draft of the NCD outcomes document. July 30, 2018 Today, for patients, their families and caregivers, it is clear that the prices of medicines for cancer and other non-communicable diseases are excessive, and that access to both new and even many older medicines is both restricted and shockingly unequal. None of these core truths is reflected in this draft declaration. It is obvious that the United Nations and the negotiators have been manipulated by the pharmaceutical manufacturers’ lobby to craft a weak and ineffective resolution that fails to address the most important challenges inRead More →

The following are comments by the Union for Affordable Cancer Treatment (UACT) on the HHS Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs, in response to the notice published in the Federal Register, 83 FR 22692. Element II.B. of the notice asks, “What policies should the U.S. government pursue in order to protect IP rights and address concerns around compulsory licensing” in OECD countries, which “are not paying an appropriate share of the necessary research and development to bring innovative drugs to the market and are instead freeriding off U.S. consumers and taxpayers.” 1. UACT rejects the premise put forth by the Blueprint thatRead 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 →

On July 5, 2018, UACT participated in the Interactive Hearing held as a part of the preparatory process toward the third High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on NCDs.  This blog will be updated with comments/developments throughout the day. Dr. Manon Ress made the following comment during the panel on “Scaling up action for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.” “I would like to comment briefly on the point made in this panel regarding the control of NCDs. As a stage 4 cancer patient myself since 2010 I applaud the focus on treatment, and the support for universal health coverage. You cannot get toRead More →