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Published on 21 May 2010

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Asda to sell cancer drugs at cost


Supermarket chain Asda has announced plans to sell cancer drugs on a not-for-profit basis.

A spokesman for the company said he hoped the rest of the industry would follow suit and cut prices on privately prescribed treatments across the board.

It is thought the move could extend the lives of thousands of cancer sufferers – as well as save them huge sums of money.

Asda said it would offer a 30-tablet pack of the drug Iressa for £2,167, markedly cheaper than the cost at Lloyds Pharmacy, Boots and Superdrug, which sell the product for £2,601, £3,251 and £3,253 respectively, according to the supermarket.

The company added it had found marks-ups of up to 76% in seven of the most commonly privately prescribed cancer drugs in UK pharmacies.

It said Superdrug had the highest prices on four of the treatments, and had increased the cost by up to 50%.

Prices at Lloyds and Tesco were marked up by 20%, while at Boots all seven drugs were marked up by either 50% or 27.5%, Asda said.

Copyright Press Association 2010

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