Price of cancer drugs

 

Sir, – Consultant Irish haematologists are urging the Government to reimburse newer cancer treatments (Letters, February 4th).

However, as the affordability of new medicines is a concern for even the wealthiest of countries, patient advocates must go beyond simply urging governments to pay whatever price is demanded and also must seek to have such prices lowered.

In 2013, 100 leading experts on blood cancers from around the world wrote a seminal editorial in the prestigious journal Blood on the problem of unjustifiably expensive cancer medicines and established a campaign to bring about fair pricing.

We call upon the Government to become a leader in Europe to promote the systemic reforms that will end the access challenges impacting the care of our cancer (and other) patients who are being denied effective treatment because of exploitative monopoly pricing. – Yours, etc,

Dr KIERAN HARKIN,

Access to Medicines

Ireland,

Dublin 2.