Pfizer, Roche, Aspen under investigation for cancer drug pricing

  • South African regulators are looking into the pricing practices of three big drugmakers relating to a handful of their cancer medications.
  • On Tuesday, the country's Competition Commission, tasked with, among other things, investigating when companies take advantage of their dominant places in the market, issued a statement indicating it had opened probes targeting Pfizer, Roche and the largest generic pharmaceutical developer in Africa, Aspen Pharmacare, for "suspected excessive pricing" of five oncology products.
  • The products under consideration are Roche's breast cancer treatment Herceptin (trastuzumab), Pfizer's lung cancer drug Xalkori (crizotinib), and Aspen's copycat forms of Leukeran (chlorambucil), Alkeran (melphalan) — both approved for multiple types of cancers — and Myleran (busulfan), indicated as a preparatory agent for leukemia patients about to receive stem cell transplants.


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