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Former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley takes on Roche advisory role

Published on 16/11/15 at 11:41am

Former UK health secretary Andrew Lansley has taken on work as an advisor to Roche in the midst of ongoing controversy over drug pricing and the future of the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF).

In line with House of Lords regulations, Lansley declared his position at Roche - a role in which he advises on pharmaceutical supply and pricing issues in Europe. Lansley was made a Lord in October, having stood down as an MP at the last General Election.

Swiss-based Roche is the world’s largest producer of oncology medications, and has been widely regarded as one of the companies to benefit most from the CDF, set up in 2010 to enable greater patient access to innovative cancer medications.

Roche hit the headlines in September when it was announced that its breast cancer drug Kadcyla- which costs between £70,000-£90,000 per patient- was to be removed from the fund in a drive to cut the cost of the over-budget scheme, making it inaccessible to patients via the NHS.

Since then, Roche and the CDF renegotiated the price down to £60,000, allowing Kadcyla to remain on the list of treatments covered by the fund.

Lansley endured a troubled period as Health Secretary between 2010 and 2012, which was brought to an abrupt end when doctors at a British Medical Association conference voted in favour of his resignation over his handling of HNHS reforms. He was replaced by Jeremy Hunt.

As well as his role at Roche, Lansley has taken on additional work advising the private equity firm Blackstone on health sector investments, and the fitness industry trade body UKActive's chair and executive director .

Joel Levy

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