These are the final days for Bexxar, a lifesaving cancer treatment that drug giant GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) announced last summer would be discontinued on Feb. 20 because it wasn’t earning the company enough money. That harsh reality has begun to sink in for those who adamantly oppose GSK’s decision to scrap this effective, safe, FDA-approved therapy for lymphoma, the nation’s seventh most common cancer for men and women.
“As a corporate CEO, I understand that GSK might kill a drug that loses money, but what I don’t understand is why they seemed to not be willing to make the modest investments required to make this lifesaving treatment a success,” said Michael Werner, who runs several companies, is a lymphoma survivor, and sits on the board of directors for the Lymphoma Research Foundation, the nation’s largest nonprofit dedicated to funding lymphoma research.
Werner said GSK, the fourth-largest pharmaceutical company in the world with revenues in the third quarter of 2013 of $10.1 billion, had all the tools to make Bexxar successful.
“It seems like maybe they lacked the will,” he said. “What a shame that thousands of patients will now be denied a treatment that might have saved their lives. It shouldn’t and doesn’t have to be this way.”