[Ip-health] Bayer's April 5, 2014 response to Nina Mahmud, rejecting request for affordable Nexavar for Fathi Helmi Aboseda.

Claire Cassedy claire.cassedy at keionline.org
Tue Sep 23 07:48:01 PDT 2014


Earlier this year, Nina Mahmud had contacted Bayer and KEI asking for help
in finding affordable copies of sorafenib, a drug for liver and kidney
cancer sold by Bayer under the trade name Nexavar, a drug that was
extending and improving the quality of his life. The price of Nexavar in
Egypt was $900 per week, and Mr. Aboseda had used his entire life savings
to buy the drug.

In an April 5, 2014 letter, Bayer rejected her plea. The text of Bayer's
response letter follows:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Joseph Philip Hendrik Smits
Date: Sat, Apr 5, 2014 at 12:47 AM
Subject: Nexavar
To: "nina.a.mahmud at gmail.com"
Ms. Nina Mahmud

Dear Ms. Mahmud,

The president of Bayer Corporation in the U.S., Philip Blake, reached out
to me regarding your February 14, 2014, correspondence and asked me to
reply to you on his behalf.

We have great sympathy for what you and your family are experiencing.

We have consulted with our colleagues in Egypt and learned that our
company's endeavors to put in place a Patient Access Program in cooperation
with the Egyptian authorities are still underway, and we will continue to
work closely to establish a program for Nexavar in Egypt. We are optimistic
that the necessary measures to provide all patients with the medications
they require will be implemented soon.

Please understand that as an ethical company we cannot interact directly to
provide patients with pharmaceutical products.

In your letter, you also reference the topic of innovation which is closely
linked to the topic of Intellectual Property. As Intellectual Property is
the lifeblood of the biopharmaceutical industry, please allow me to explain
the following.

We realize and accept the responsibility we have to make our medicines
accessible and affordable to the widest number of patients possible.
Furthermore, we are committed to finding sustainable and effective ways to
improve access to our medicines. In fact, we work with aid organizations
and governments on different health-related programs.

But we can only continue to do so and to develop innovative medicines for
the unmet medical needs of patients if our business model stays intact. And
a key element of this model is the intellectual property right linked to
such an innovative medicine which we therefore can't compromise.

With kind regards, Philip Smits, MD, General Manager Bayer Healthcare
Middle East

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