It was just last week that India took the very first step to make cancer drugs more affordable with Bayer and it looks like Roche might see some writing on the wall. We all know how expensive cancer drugs are and how unaffordable they can be for the patients who need them most.
India Authorizes Local Drug Manufacturer to Make and Sell Generic Copy of Patented Bayer Cancer Drug To Make It Affordable
By jumping ahead of the game and making the drugs affordable up front they could stand to remain outside of the laws in India and again hopefully they will be affordable. The two drugs Herceptin and Mabthera will also be renamed to market under a different name. After last week I wondered if some flood gates would begin to open and it looks like pharmaceutical companies, at least Roche took notice. BD
Roche Holding AG is cutting the price of two expensive cancer drugs in India—and giving them new names—in an effort to gain market share and avoid competition from generic drugs in the fast-growing economy.
The move marks a shift for the Swiss drug maker, which long has argued that consumers everywhere should pay the same price for its medications. By giving the drugs new names in India, Roche hopes to avoid losing pricing power elsewhere, though it isn't clear the company will succeed on that score.
The arrangement involves Herceptin and Mabthera, the wholesale costs of which are about $3,000 to $4,500 a month per patient. Tuygan Goeker, head of Middle East and Asian markets at Roche, said the prices would be cut in India starting next year, though he declined to say by how much. By offering lower-priced versions, Roche also aims to avoid being compelled under Indian law to allow generic-drug makers to produce less-expensive copies.
Roche's plan also partly is aimed at preventing India from demanding a so-called "compulsory license" for Roche drugs, which would allow a generic-drug maker to make less-expensive copies. Indian law gives the country's patent regulator such authority if a medicine is priced beyond patients' reach.