Cancer medicine could become significantly cheaper in Europe, with leading pharmaceutical Aspen suggesting prices drop by an average of almost two-thirds for some products following an anti-trust European Commission investigation.
The EU commission opened a formal investigation in May 2017 amid concerns that Aspen had abused its dominant position in Europe by charging excessive prices for critical off-patent cancer medicines.
Aspen has now proposed to reduce the European prices of six critical cancer medicines by 73 per cent on average, the commission announced on Tuesday.
The proposal would set maximum prices for 10 years.
Margrethe Vestager, EU Commission executive vice president, said that high prices did not always create an incentive for innovation, as was often claimed.
“They sometimes also use their dominant position to increase prices of old but critical medicines by several hundred percent without any real justification,” she said.
The commission on Tuesday asked for interested parties to comment on the matter.
It will then rule on whether the proposed price reduction sufficiently addresses the concerns.
Aspen’s medicine is used for the treatment of leukaemia and other haematological cancers, including medicine sold under the names of Alkeran, Leukeran and Purnethol.
Already in 2016, Italy had ordered Aspen to reduce its prices in the country.
Edited By: Halima Sheji/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)
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