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Dozens of advocacy groups are urging one of the largest American universities not to pursue a patent for a pricey cancer drug in India, opening another front in an ongoing battle over access to the medicine.

At issue is the Xtandi prostate cancer treatment, which was originally invented at the University of California, Los Angeles, and has become a flashpoint in a wider debate in the United States over the extent to which Americans should pay high prices for medicines that were developed, at least in part, with taxpayer dollars.


Here’s the back story: The University of California system is seeking a patent in India, but the advocacy groups want the university to withdraw its application over concerns about the price already charged by one drug maker in the country and, in particular, the possibility that generic competition may eventually be precluded in any number of poor countries.

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  • Amazing what happens when you put a calculator to $44.77 per pill x 4/day … x 365. The cost ends up slightly north of $65,000/ year – what sounded possibly reasonable ends up at just over half of the US price of $129,000/ year. Another flash point where ‘things may get interesting.’

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