Good news! Pfizer dropped their price!

We're delighted with the news announced this morning that agreements have been reached which ensure access to two important breast cancer treatments, palbociclib and ribociclib, on the NHS.

We worked hard for for this result and are very grateful to everyone who supported the campaign. Emma Robertson, a breast cancer patient who is taking one of the drugs, palbociclib (also known as Ibrance), has been leading our push for the manufacturer, Pfizer, to drop their price. She said:

A thank you message from Emma.

"This is great news for cancer patients like me across the country. On Tuesday Just Treatment delivered a petition from over 19,500 people to Pfizer, demanding they drop their price. We’re glad Pfizer responded to our campaign, acknowledged that their price was too high, and reduced it.

"It is also good that the NHS bargained hard to get a better deal from the drug companies. But this deal is shrouded in secrecy - we’ll never know how good that deal is, or how much we have agreed to pay for these medicines. We doubt it is anything close to the £1 a pill price palbociclib could be profitably made for.

"This is a positive outcome on these medicines, but the pharmaceutical industry's high prices continue to prevent patients in the UK getting the treatment they need. With the health service experiencing an unprecedented funding crisis and medicine prices edging ever upwards we will keep fighting to ensure drug company profits stop undermining the NHS and patient care.”

This is an important victory, but the problems caused for patients and the NHS by drug companies' high prices have not yet been solved. Palbociclib is still not approved for patients in Scotland. And a range of treatments for cancer and other conditions are still priced too high for the NHS.

When the NHS has to pay at least £10,000 for hepatitis c medicines which can be profitably made and sold for £90 we know there is something seriously wrong. Just Treatment is going to keep working until we fix it, and safeguard the future of our NHS.

Diarmaid McDonald