Changing the debate on the cost of cancer drugs


MHP had worked with the Roche UK business for more than seven years providing policy and public affairs counsel to help the company navigate a number of access challenges. Following the changes to the NHS Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) in 2016, the company brought in the MHP Health media team for counsel to challenge the continuing negative media and stakeholder sentiment around the high cost of innovation in breast cancer medicines.


Using insights provided by journalists and the breast cancer community, our approach was to move the discussion forward from the price of medicines to the value for patients. By focusing on the benefits that matter most to the women affected – survival and quality of life – we were able to integrate the clinical and health economic arguments with the voice of the patient, in a way that built the most compelling, evidence-based case for maintaining access to these important medicines post-CDF.


In just three months a significant turnaround was achieved. The overall sentiment and tone of the unprecedented media coverage changed from overwhelmingly negative to more than 90 per cent neutral or positive. In addition, the share of voice for the Roche perspective within the media coverage increased to match that of other important stakeholders in the field.