Sachdev Sidhu Discussed Orphan Drug Pricing on National Radio
Professor Sachdev Sidhu was interviewed by Anna Maria Tremonti on CBC radio's The Current to discuss orphan drugs and drug pricing, in the context of Soliris, an antibody-based drug designed to help patients with a rare blood disease called atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) that leads to kidney failure. Sidhu is a protein engineering expert and Director of the Centre for Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics.
The program featured a patient who greatly benefits from taking Soliris, but had to jump through many hurdles to be approved for help in funding this extremely onerous drug ($750,000/y at the required dose). Sidhu highlighted the fact that we as the public, should be better informed about what justifies such high pricing, when the costs of producing antibody drugs has substantially decreased in the last few years thanks to new technology. He also highlighted the fact that academic institutions, whose research greatly contributes to knowledge used for drug development, have to do a better job of translating that knowledge into health solutions themselves, rather than relying on pharmaceutical companies whose primary goal is to increase profits. Read more about that story here or hear the full interview (Sidhu's segment starts at 07:15).
Sidhu first commented on the high price of Soliris in June 2015 when he was featured on the CBC’s news program The National, which you can see here.