Dutch hospital challenges big pharma by making own version of very pricey drug - (DutchNews.nl via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Leadiant Biosciences on April 1 increased the price of chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA) by around 500 percent so it now costs some 200 000 euros per patient per year, reported DutchNews.nl.

  • However, Amsterdam's AMC teaching hospital is starting to make its own version of the cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis (CTX) drug for 25 000 euros because the medicine is no longer covered by health insurance following the price hike.

  • According to the news source, only 60 patients in the Netherlands suffer from CTX, and while the treatment has been available since the 1970s, Leadiant only registered it as an orphan drug with the European Medicines Agency last year.

  • However, the news source noted that pharmacists are permitted to make the drug for their own patients, and even though the AMC only has two patients with the disease, "anyone can register at our pharmacy with a doctor’s prescription," said AMC professor Carla Hollak.

  • Meanwhile, Leadiant issued a statement saying "at the heart of the issue is ensuring the medicines we develop and deliver meet the appropriate standards of safety, efficacy and quality, and are accessible to the people who need them."

  • The company added "we will continue to engage with the relevant stakeholders on solutions that address these needs."

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