Cancer drug firm scrutinised over 600 per cent price hike - (The Times via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Ireland's Health Service Executive (HSE) is assisting the European Commission with its investigation into price hikes implemented by Aspen Pharmacare, The Times reported Thursday.

  • The drugmaker increased the prices of some products by more than 600 percent and warned the HSE that "severe stock shortages" could occur if its price demands were refused.

  • The HSE eventually agreed to the price hikes of as much as 200 000 euros per year.

  • "We refused the price increase on at least two occasions," explained Shaun Flanagan, chief pharmacist at the HSE's corporate pharmaceutical unit, adding "we were left in a scenario of either granting the price increase to maintain access to the medicines or not, and a judgment had to be made as to whether it was reasonable or not to expend that 200 000 euros to maintain access."

  • Regarding the price increase, the cost of the myeloma treatment Alkeran climbed 437 percent to 12.30 euros per pack, with the price of Leukeran surging 592 percent to 55 euros per pack.

  • Meanwhile, the prices of Lanvis and Purinethol both were increased by more than 240 percent.

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