To win over U.K. cost-effectiveness gatekeepers, Novartis cut Afinitor's price. Unfortunately for the Swiss drugmaker, it didn't work. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence still turned down a new use for the drug in HER2-negative breast cancer.
In the past, the U.K.'s cost-effectiveness gatekeeper has shown that it will bend preliminary draft guidance decisions if the price is right. But for Pfizer, which slashed costs on its targeted lung cancer drug Xalkori in hopes of gaining recommendation for its use in Britain's National Health Service, that price wasn't low enough.
The U.K.'s cost-effectiveness police have turned up their noses at Roche's new breast cancer drug Perjeta. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) says the drug's ability to extend patients' lives is unclear--and that it's far more costly than currently available treatments.
The regulators have spoken on both sides of the Atlantic. And in both cases, we have winners--and we have losers.
These days, drugmakers almost always offer discounts to get their products cleared by NICE. But even that's not a sure bet for winning approval. Such was the case with Pfizer's Bosulif, rejected today for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).
Celgene's blood cancer drug Revlimid was cruising in the first half of 2013. Now, the U.K.'s cost-effectiveness watchdog has put up a roadblock, but some new positive trial data might keep the setback from taking too much wind out of Revlimid's sails.
As the FDA approved Afinitor's new breast cancer indication last year, analysts estimated that it could add up to $1.5 billion to Afinitor's peak sales. That's a nice chunk of change to help Novartis make up for Diovan's patent-cliff losses. But the U.K.'s cost-effectiveness watchdogs have another idea.
Sanofi's cancer drug Zaltrap has again fallen into a price trap. The cost watchdog in the U.K. said it does not find the benefits of the colorectal cancer drug outweigh its high price.
Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca persuaded the U.K.'s cost-effectiveness agency to make an about-face on their new diabetes drug Forxiga.
Regulators have again turned down Roche's cancer drug Avastin for payment by the National Health System (NHS), this time for use on a recurrent, advanced ovarian cancer. But that doesn't mean patients won't get it.