• Communications

    Posted in category ABPI statement by Communications on 28/09/2011

    Statement – Response to news coverage on the cost of cancer treatment, 27 September 2011

​Commenting on news coverage following the Lancet Oncology Paper, Delivering affordable cancer care in high-income countries, Stephen Whitehead, Chief Executive of the ABPI, said:


“Treatments that are proven to extend and improve the quality of patients' lives are an essential part of the NHS. 

“While medicines may only extend the lives of some patients for relatively short periods of time, different people react in different ways, and treatments have prolonged life far longer than expected and even by several years in some cases. A greater emphasis on personalised healthcare will help us determine those patients who are most likely to respond to a particular treatment. This will allow clinicians to concentrate on those who would benefit from a medicine while sparing those for whom a treatment would prove ineffective. 

“Cancer survival rates in the UK still do not compare favourably with many of our European neighbours. The UK currently lags behind comparable countries in Europe and elsewhere on its use of newer cancer treatments and other innovative medicines, despite prices and spending being lower here. In fact, the use of new cancer medicines is 33 per cent lower in the UK compared with the EU 15.

“Many of the most common medicines are coming off patent allowing generic manufacturers to provide them at a lower price and ultimately saving the NHS hundreds of millions of pounds. Collecting and examining Real World data to understand how specific subpopulations are responding to medicines, will be crucial to target the right patients and avoid wasteful prescribing. This will be achieved by genuine, joint working with all health stakeholders, including the pharmaceutical industry, the diagnostics industry, the NHS, regulators, patients and clinicians.”


Media contact

Andrew Horne, Media Officer
Tel: 020 7747 1410
Mobile: 07850 312064 

About the ABPI

We represent innovative research-based biopharmaceutical companies, both large and small, leading an exciting new era of biosciences in the UK.

 Our industry, a major contributor to the economy of the UK, brings life-saving and life-enhancing medicines to patients. Our members supply 80 per cent of all medicines used by the NHS, and are researching and developing over two-thirds of the current medicines pipeline, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of helping patients prevent and overcome diseases.

Working with our Research Affiliate Members, leaders in pharmaceutical R&D, is vital in promoting the UK as a destination of choice for international life sciences investment.

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