- The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK considers Roche's Kadcyla (ado-trastuzumab), for the treatment of breast cancer, too expensive. It costs $145,000 per year in the UK.
- More than 30,000 online petitioners are requesting that Roche lower the price of Kadcyla.
- When the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) asked Roche to lower the drug's price, the discount proposed by the company was deemed insufficient.
Social media is a driving force in patient advocacy and is used for a multitude of reasons. For instance, in the U.S., patients use online advocacy to demand experimental drugs for dire medical situations as part of a "compassionate care" protocol.
Kadcyla is widely sought as a treatment for breast cancer, according to Roche, because it offers efficacy without the severe side effects associated with other chemotherapy treatments. In response to the petition, Roche is continuing discussion with various parties, including the NHS in England, the Scottish Medicines Consortium, and other pharma companies. Sustainability is in the best interest of manufacturers, payers and, most of all, patients.