An international organisation working for cancer-affected people has asked
the Obama administration not to pressurise India to reject a compulsory
license on a drug for a rare form of leukaemia, which would be a de facto
endorsement of an excessive price.
In a letter to the US Trade Representative (USTR), Mike Froman, Union for
Affordable Cancer Treatment (UACT), opposed the policies that promote high
cancer drug prices throughout the world.
UACT in its letter refers to recent reports suggesting that USTR is
pressuring the Indian government to reject a compulsory license on
dasatinib, a drug for a rare form of leukaemia.
The Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) price for dasatinib is more than USD 100 per
day, which makes it unreachable for the majority of leukaemia patients in
US government opposition to a compulsory license on dasatinib is a de facto
endorsement of an excessive price, and will have predictably harsh
consequences for leukaemia patients. who have developed resistance to
The UACT letter also challenges the assumption that USTR is advancing the
US interests by promoting stronger monopolies of medicines.
While BMS attempts to justify high cancer drug prices on the grounds that
R&D is expensive, BMS in fact spent little on the R&D for dasatinib and
benefited extensively from US government research subsidies, including
NIH-funded research and clinical trials, and a 50 per cent tax credit on
the BMS funded trials, it said.
Access the Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review letter here
Access the letter on Indian compulsory licences on dasatinib patents here