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Parliamentary questions
PDF 103kWORD 18k
15 December 2017
Question for written answer E-007787-17
to the Commission
Rule 130
Ignazio Corrao (EFDD) , Dario Tamburrano (EFDD) , Tiziana Beghin (EFDD) , Fabio Massimo Castaldo (EFDD)

 Subject:  Kymriah: the childhood leukaemia treatment accessible only to the rich
 Answer in writing 

CHF 475 000 or just over EUR 400 000: that is the cost of Kymriah, a childhood leukaemia drug developed by a Pennsylvania University researcher and manufactured by the Swiss company Novartis.

The pharmaceutical industry allegedly has a profit margin of 25%, and Kymriah could cost much less.

Kymriah is an exclusive drug and will be used for only 600 treatments a year. No national healthcare system can afford to finance care of that sort.

Kymriah is the first gene therapy for leukaemia and has been given the go-ahead by the US Food and Drug Administration. In tests on young patients in the US the remission rate was 83%.

Reference might also be made here to Parliament’s resolution P7_TA(2013)0049: Article 168 TFEU; the obligations set out in Article 81 of Directive 2001/83/EC; paragraphs 249 and 250 of the judgment handed down by the Court of Justice on 14 February 1978 in Case 27/76, concerning excessive prices; and Parliament’s resolution P8_TA(2017)0061.

Notwithstanding the fact that the prime responsibility for health-related action lies with the Member States, how will the Commission ensure that European children with leukaemia can be treated even when they do not number among ‘the rich’?

Original language of question: IT 
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