When scientists discovered that the budget cancer medicine Campath was very effective against multiple sclerosis, the producer increased the price to 40-fold the original price.
– I was almost dumstruck when I heard the price, head of the Department of Hematology at Rikshospitalet, Geir Erland Tjønn Fjord, says to TV2 News.
Until 2012, the drug Campath was used to treat patients with chronic leukemia (blood cancer). But after the international pharmaceutical company Sanofi acquired the company that owned the rights to the cancer drug, researchers at the University of Cambridge found out that it also had a very good effect on multiple sclerosis.
As a cancer medicine used for treating chronic leukemia the price of Campath was 165 kroner for 1 milligram. After it was relaunched as MS-medicine under the name Lemtrada, the price was 6.519 kroner for milligram.
– This really vexes me. It is completely incomprehensible that the price increases to 40-fold the original price. To me this seems like brutal business and not much else, Tjønn Fjord says.
Gabriel Johannessen in Sanofi says that doing research by doing clinical trials over a period of several years is very costly, and is what lead to the increased price.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today