Drugmakers are accustomed to grappling with government payers and PBMs over prices. They're used to getting the stiff arm from cost-effectiveness watchdogs like those at the U.K.'s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). They're even used to the critics at patient-access organizations.
But a pricing fight directly with patients? That's not your everyday occurrence.
A U.K. cancer survivor has gathered almost 30,000 signatures on a petition asking Roche ($RHHBY) to lower the price of its new breast cancer treatment Kadcyla. The breakthrough armed-antibody therapy is priced at about $94,000 for a 9-month course--or almost $150,000 when used as designed, alongside Roche's other new breast cancer drug, Perjeta.
The online petition's signatories are from all over the world, and some include comments alongside their signatures. A few are coolly rational--drug prices need to cover the cost plus a reasonable markup, one said--but others are emotional tirades. Not the sort of conversation drugmakers want to hear about themselves and their products online.
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