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Catalan Oncology Institute will pay Roche drugs depending on clinical results

The Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO) and Roche pharmaceutical company have signed an agreement stating that the Catalan public institute will pay for treatments against cancer depending on clinical results adapted to each specific patient. For now, the agreement provides that Roche will supply two drugs against the most common cancers, mostly breast and colon. According to the agreement, the probabilities of success will be thoroughly examined and if they meet the requirements, the Catalan Government will fully pay for the treatment. If not, Roche will assume the costs progressively according to the degree of success.

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24 January 2014 07:47 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO) and Roche pharmaceutical company have signed an agreement stating that the Catalan public institute will pay for treatments against cancer depending on clinical results adapted to each specific patient. For now, the agreement provides that Roche will supply two drugs, formed of a combination of eleven molecules, against the most common cancers, mostly breast and colon. According to the agreement signed on Friday, the probabilities of success will be thoroughly examined and if they meet the requirements, the Catalan Government will fully pay for the treatment. If not, Roche will assume the costs progressively according to the degree of success. The Catalan Minister of Health, Boi Ruiz, said that this agreement was “a step on the path of public health investing in success, clinical results, and medical benefits” rather than “merely in equipment or new surgeries”.


The Catalan Minister of Health, Boi Ruiz, explained that it will be easier for patients to have access to the most advanced and suitable treatment, the soonest possible. Furthermore, the agreement will enable to monitor the patients and if a treatment is deemed ineffective, it will be changed very rapidly. This will also optimise and save public resources, as no money will be wasted on inappropriate treatments, insisted the Minister.  

An innovative partnership between public health and a private company

Besides, Roche will be able to continue investing in innovation and research, jointly conducted with the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO). The ICO, the only institution of this nature in Spain, has three centres in Catalonia, and works alongside three public general university hospitals. Therefore, they can cover the full range of services related to cancer: prevention, diagnosis, surgery and treatment, including palliative care.

Boi Ruiz, the Director of the ICO Candela Calle, and the Roche’s Director General Andreas Abt, have all three underlined that this agreement represented a “shift in paradigm”, turning the traditional customer-supplier relationship into jointly responsible “partners”.

Andreas Abt explained that this is agreement was a first step towards the type of cooperation he wished for between private companies and public health in the future, but that this transition would be gradual. In any case, there is no exclusivity and neither Roche nor the ICO will be prevented from working with other “partners”.

Roche conducted 220 clinical trials involving 4,500 patients in Catalonia

The Director of the Catalan Institute of Oncology, Candela Calle, explained that there are currently conducting 31 clinical trials with 185 patients involved. Andreas Abt stressed the company’s involvement in Catalonia, where it has over 800 employees, and last year invested €11 million in Research and Development and 220 clinical trials involving 4,500 patients across 50 medical centres. For 2014, the company plans on approving seven new products from the one or two that are tested each year.

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  • The press conference announcing the agreement, with the Catalan Health Minister (centre) by P. Solà)

  • The press conference announcing the agreement, with the Catalan Health Minister (centre) by P. Solà)