Psst, Can I Score Some Lenalidomide?

One of the potential showstoppers of a move to South Africa is the price of Lenalidomide. The primary patent for Revlimid has expired around the world but patent law is strange in South Africa.

People there have been sourcing generic Lenalidomide from India. A year supply was R32,000 {1900 euro}. The loophole was closed by some legal action.

The wife now gets hers from Vidal and not Celgene. Sandoz are also doing a generic.

We found this today.

“Eurolab Group CEO, Lynne du Toit, says, “In keeping with our vision to bring down the cost of cancer treatment and expand access to care, we are proud to announce the launch of Eurolen, South Africa’s first lenalidomide generic.

“Historically, the only lenalidomide product on the market cost over R60 000 per box. Over an average maintenance course of treatment, a patient needed to pay over R720 000 per year. Most medical aids cover R200 000 per year for cancer treatment, leaving patients to fork out a co-payment of over R520 000 for a chance to survive their cancer.

“Eurolen costs R8 711 per 25 mg box. By slashing the cost of treatment down by over R10 000 per month, we are offering renewed hope to South Africans fighting multiple myeloma. Patients who are treated with Eurolen will therefore be fully covered by their annual medical aid oncology benefit.

“Furthermore, treatment of multiple myeloma can last eight years and beyond, meaning that patients needed to pay some R4 million in co-payments. It was clear to us that something needed to be done: the cost of lenalidomide in South Africa is out of reach for most people.””

I have just sent them an email to inquire as to prices, for 10mg boxes…If this is correct then the R8700 would be covered by health insurance and in any case ~£500 is not too onerous.

The guys at Celgene have been raking it in; R60,000 is about 3600 euros a box!

Eurolab have just gotten back to me…that was quick…

A box of 21 capsules of 10mg is about R6000 or 360 euro…

The price of lenalidomide is therefore not a showstopper!!

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