South African icon Lillian Dube has lashed out at pharmaceutical giant Roche over the price of their cancer medication.
The breast cancer survivor, who has undergone a single mastectomy, said she was treated with Herceptin and her medical aid was depleted when she wasn't even halfway through her treatment, The Times reported on Wednesday. She ended up paying over R24,000 per visit.
"My real concern is that you can't find this medication in public hospitals and, as a result, young women die because the cost prevents them from getting Herceptin," Dube reportedly said.
"Roche has made its money, why do they keep charging us such exorbitant prices?"
The protest took place at Roche's premises in Sandton.
According to the paper, a 12-month course of Herceptin costs a minimum of R485,800. It is used to treat a particular strain of breast cancer, HER2-positive. Lillian Dube was reportedly at the protest.
Spokesperson for Roche SA, Aadila Fakier, told The Times that the company continued to work with stakeholders to ensure the drug was available to all who needed it.
"As yet we have not reached a solution," she said.