“In several earlier posts, we pointed out inconsistencies in Roche’s argument on the Tarceva price. While they claimed in court (before Bhat J) as well as in the press that the tablet costs only Rs 3200, the packaging in the market (which Cipla produced in court) speaks otherwise i.e. Rs 4800 per tablet (which coverts to about Rs 1.4 lakh per month for a patient). Justice Bhat naturally preferred the hard evidence produced by Cipla (i.e. the packaging) to the word of Roche.
Since I’ve been perplexed about this pricing issue, I spoke with an uncle of mine, a cancer specialist at the RCC (Regional Cancer Center), Trivandrum. He’s treated several patients with Tarceva in the past. He informs me that although the open market price for Tarceva is Rs 4800 per tablet, RCC was able to negotiate a lower price of Rs 3200 from Roche. In other words, a powerful institution such as the RCC could strike a good bargain with Roche. But he cautions, this price is strictly for RCC patients only and Roche has left strict instructions to ensure that this cannot be traded in the open market (sort of the way military canteen goods in India are subjected to arbitrage).”
I just can’t fathom how anyone could stoop to such a level, sneakily procure personal details (telephone numbers etc-so much for privacy in this country!) and threaten family members.
More importantly, I’m not entirely sure what part of the above statement peeved this alleged representative of Roche. Or whether his angst was against previous posts that pointed to critical flaws in Roche’s legal strategy. Anyway, if he thinks that his highly reprehensible act of issuing threats to family members is going to shut us up and derail our efforts to further “transparency”, he is sadly mistaken.