A GlaxoSmithKline disponibilizará quimioterápico para câncer de incidiência rara. Muito bom. Mais interessante foi ligação dessa decisão com o atitude do Ministério da Saúde do Brasil (e, também da Tailândia) em relação à aids feita pela blogueira do The Wall Street Journal. Os críticos da atitude brasileira da quebra da patente do efavirenz prognosticaram o caos, mas a realidade da relação entre a governos independentes e soberanos com responsabilidade com a sua população e a Big Pharma estão no patamar da realpolitik e, não da ideologia.
Glaxo Readies Drug for Rare Cancer at Modest Price. Posted by Sarah Rubenstein Drug makers have come under fire recently from countries such as Thailand and Brazil for the high prices of their products. But GlaxoSmithKline is taking a step in Europe that may burnish its image. Later this year the company expects to launch a drug for a rare cancer at a modest price — with no chance of generating a profit, the Financial Times reports.The drug, called Atriance, will be offered to the fewer than 500 patients across the European Union annually. It’s indicated for people who haven’t responded to other chemotherapies that target T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and lymphoblastic lymphoma, rare blood diseases that predominantly affect children, the FT says.Andrew Witty, president of Glaxo’s European pharmaceuticals division explained the rationale to the FT. “The economics [for Atriance] are very unlikely to work, but we have never seen this as a commercial opportunity,” he said. “This is part of our commitment to ensure the right balance between the company and society.” Asked whether Glaxo considered abandoning the drug, Witty said there was a “debate inside the company,” but the “overwhelming” view was that the drug worked and should be brought to market. Still, a moderately priced cancer drug can still carry a big sticker. Atriance will cost about $5,000 for a 21-day cycle of treatment, the FT reports. The newspaper says that’s far less than most other “orphan drugs,” which are for diseases that affect small groups of people. This 2005 page-one article from the WSJ details the experience of Carol Lees, a patient with an orphan disease who was racking up bills of $1,400 a day for treatment with a drug from Genzyme.Meanwhile, Tykerb, Glaxo’s new drug for metastatic breast cancer, costs about $2,900 a month. See this interactive feature from WSJ for more about drugs for advance breast cancer.