Minister to ‘talk to Novartis’ after five-fold cancer drug price hike - (DutchNews.nl via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Dutch Health Minister Bruno Bruins plans to meet with Novartis to discuss a 500-percent price increase on the cancer drug Lutathera, DutchNews.nl reported Thursday.

  • Bruins recently identified the 90 000-euro price of the drug as an "example of how not to behave."

  • Novartis obtained the therapy, which was developed in the 1980s, after a series of takeovers and subsequently registered the drug as an orphan drug.

  • "This expensive medicine is covered in the basic health insurance package so patients will continue to be treated," Bruins noted, adding "but we are having to deal with so many other really expensive drugs that we really do have to tackle this."

  • A Novartis spokeswoman remarked that the drugmaker is "willing to discusses this topic with all stakeholders including the government."

  • Meanwhile, the company stated that prior to its approval by the European Medicines Agency, the drug "was only available as an experimental treatment at centres with the facilities and capabilities to manage the compounding of a radioactive product."

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