Roche CEO hits back at decision to drop some treatments from UK Cancer Drugs Fund: report

Roche CEO Severin Schwan criticised a recent decision by the NHS to stop covering some treatments as part of the UK's Cancer Drugs Fund, including the company's Avastin (bevacizumab) and Kadcyla (trastuzumab emtansine), Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

Last week, the NHS disclosed that 25 indications would no longer be covered by the Cancer Drugs Fund, with 17 drugs targeted in the latest round of cuts. Schwan said the decisions are "completely arbitrary," noting that the rulings are based only on cost and not on the savings to the NHS that the treatments provide. The executive added "it's stupid from a cost point of view. How the hell can you ignore all these benefits?"

Schwan cautioned that the latest decisions may mean that Roche will not be able to conduct clinical trials in the UK testing new drugs against Avastin, which is the current standard of care for some cancers.

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