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UK Supermarket Chain to Sell Cancer Drugs at Cost – Iressa, Glivec Sutent and More

Posted May 20 2010 8:50am

This is an extension of US retail chain Wal-Mart in the US – ASDA is owned by Wal-Mart.  The chain is calling for others to follow in their footsteps.  These are treatments that extend lives of cancer victims and are not always available from the NHS. 

A representative from the company realizes like we have in the US, patients are going into extreme debt to pay for some of these essential drugs and they feel they image are taking a step in the right direction to make them affordable and the program stands to save consumers hundreds if not thousands of dollars to be able to have affordable access.  Even at the “cost” price the drugs are still costly but any attempt to help make drugs available is certainly welcome.  BD  

British supermarket chain Asda said on Thursday that it is to sell cancer drugs at cost-price and called on its peers who make massive profits on the treatments to follow suit.

"The crippling cost of paying privately for cancer treatment has forced many people to spend their savings or even re-mortgage their house to pay for these essential drugs," said John Evans, superintendent pharmacist at Asda.

"We are the first retailer to recognize this injustice and to do something about it and we are calling on other retailers to follow our lead.

"It's a small step in the right direction but our permanent 'not for profit' price on cancer treatment drugs makes them more accessible and can save people hundreds if not thousands of pounds."

Asda said the lung cancer drug Iressa will be sold by the chain for 2,167.71 pounds (2,508 euros, 3,102 dollars) for a pack of 30. Some leading pharmacies are selling the same item for more than 3,250 pounds, it claimed.

Asda will also sell at cost price the leukaemia drug Glivec, Nexavar for kidney and liver cancer , as well as Sutent for kidney and stomach tumors.

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