Letter of Support for compulsory licence for Kadcyla/ T-DM1

The Coalition for Affordable T-DM1 is an ad hoc group asking the UK government to grant compulsory licences on the patents for a breast cancer drug marketed by Roche as Kadcyla, and also known by its generic name as T-DM1.

The text of the letter the Coalition will be sending to the UK Department of Health is available here: http://cancerunion.org/files/Jeremy-Hunt-1October2015-CoalitionforAffordable-TDM1-CL.pdf.

An FAQ about the letter is available here: https://goo.gl/vgPWF8

A UACT webpage on the compulsory licence case is available here: http://cancerunion.org/tdm1_uk.html

The Coalition is asking individuals or organizations who support this request to sign a short letter that will be provided to government officials and the news media. You can sign this letter by filling out this form.

The text of the sign-on letter supporting the CL request is as follows:

Dear ……………..

We are writing to ask the UK Department of Health to consider the proposals by the Coalition for Affordable T-DM1 to authorise the manufacture use and sale of biosimilar versions of trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1), a drug sold by Roche under the brand name Kadcyla, for use in the treatment of breast cancer, as well as to develop a concrete strategy to curb excessive prices on drugs for cancer and other life threatening illnesses.

The proposal by the Coalition would put patient interests first, securing a quality assured generic version of the treatment, whilst also protecting taxpayers from price gouging by pharmaceutical companies. A monopoly on a life-saving drug should not be seen as a right, but rather as a privilege associated with responsibilities, including the obligation to make the drug available at a reasonable price. The Roche price for T-DM1 is shockingly high, and is only one example of global pharmaceutical companies testing the limits of drug pricing, on the assumption that governments will not let seriously ill patients go without access to an effective treatment.

The ever-higher prices being demanded for medicines in the UK and other countries are a consequence of a flawed system of incentives for pharmaceutical R&D. This system needs to be reformed, so that governments can ensure universal access to new medicines that have medical benefits for patients.

The Coalition proposal includes a plan to achieve better outcomes for patients and taxpayers. The Government should seriously consider all of the measures that have been proposed to make T-DM1 available to breast cancer patients in the UK who need the treatment and we ask that the UK Government either embrace them or offer alternative courses of action that protect patient interests in a fiscally sustainable manner.

Sincerely, ……………..

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