Cancer drug cost cut
THE QUEEN ELIZABETH HOSPITAL (QEH) will now be purchasing the expensive cancer treatment drug, Glivec, at a reduced cost.
After months of negotiation, the hospital signed a three-year contract with drug manufacturer Novartis and local pharmaceutical distributor Collins Ltd. to provide discounted rates on the list price for the drug.
It is used for chronic myelogenous leukemia patients. Currently, for the 12 patients who need the drug, QEH pays US$2 789.57 per patient for a one-month cycle of Glivec 400 milligrammes.
The discounts will result in a reduced price to the hospital that ranges on a sliding scale from 56 per cent to 33 per cent of the list price over the contract period.
During the signing ceremony in the hospital’s conference room on Wednesday, QEH’s chief executive officer Dr Dexter James, explained that the hospital was seeking new and creative ways to finance health services “and we have embraced the option of public/private partnerships”.
He further explained that in addition to estimated annual savings of US$18 766.20 per patient in the first year, the contract would also serve to improve the supply chain for the hospital.
‘Under this contract, Collins Ltd. is required to maintain adequate quantities of the drug to reduce any possibility of stockouts.” (AH)