Breast Cancer PatientsÕ Lifeline Spurs Roche China Sales

by swisscham in Hospitality, Retail, Tourism

Zhu Guizhen, a Chinese mother of a high school senior, says she was preparing to give up her fight with an aggressive form of breast cancer when she learned of a possible lifeline. Zhu, 40, heard on the radio a year ago that she could buy Herceptin, an expensive, breakthrough drug shown to improve survival by more than a third, at a 75% discount, thanks to a cost-sharing deal between her provincial government and Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG. After 11 months of treatment, her cancer has stopped spreading and sheÕs back hawking childrenÕs wear from a market stall in Jiangsu provinceÕs capital, Nanjing. Since August 2011, Roche has donated eight vials of Herceptin to patients in ChinaÕs eastern province of Jiangsu once they have bought six vials of the drug. Last year, the Jiangsu government began subsidizing the price the patient pays, picking up three-quarters of the cost. The Roche-led subsidies program is bolstering sales in China.

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