Medical Value & Pricing
Improving quality of life for patients
Roche's strategy is to develop innovative products and services that address unmet medical needs and are of real value to society. The true value of our medicines and tests lies in their effectiveness, both for patients and for healthcare systems, by helping to detect, correctly diagnose and appropriately treat disease.
Cancer is the second biggest killer in Europe after heart disease, although funding for cancer care is disproportionately low in comparison. Research shows huge differences between countries in investment in cancer treatments, with drugs representing only around 10% of the total cost of cancer care. As the incidence of cancer increases and healthcare budgets are stretched, we have an increasing responsibility to demonstrate not only the medical but also the economic benefits our products bring.
This means looking beyond the price of the drug to the medical value provided to patients and the money saved by healthcare providers through efficient treatment programmes. Roche is a world leader in developing cancer treatments, and our innovative drugs Avastin, Herceptin, MabThera, Tarceva and Xeloda have revolutionised the way cancer is treated. These drugs can slow the progression of cancer, dramatically improve quality of life and even save lives when used in the early stage of the disease. The use of diagnostics can also dramatically increase the effectiveness of healthcare, by enabling prevention, early diagnosis, treatment and monitoring. However, less than 2% of total healthcare spend is on diagnostic tests.
Things are beginning to change. Governments and payers are increasingly willing to pay for our medicines once they have seen the demonstrable benefits to both patients and healthcare systems. For example:
- Based on remarkable results in early stage breast cancer, payers in several countries undertook exceptional measures to allow early treatment with Herceptin before the drug received regulatory approval
- Avastin received record reimbursement for use in treating advanced colorectal cancer in many countries due to the overwhelming improval in overall survival
- Xeloda as an oral therapy can be taken at home, so reduces the overall cost of care and frees up beds for other patients, hence saving money in other parts of the healthcare budget.
Access to treatment can also vary between countries because of the time it takes to approve a new drug. We work together with all those involved in the healthcare system to recognise the value of innovative new drugs and ensure equality of access to them.
Patents and pricing in LDCs: Increasing access without slowing innovation
We have developed patent and pricing policies that have significantly improved access to all our products and especially HIV medicines, in the poorer countries that are home to around 87% of all people living with HIV/AIDS. Read more...