AZ's Brilique rated highly in inaugural German assessment

Two reasons to watch Germany's assessment of the new bloodthinner from AstraZeneca ($AZN): it's an important new drug for the company, which is counting on Brilique/Brilinta to help replace revenues lost to generic erosion. And Brilique is the first drug to endure the new-and-controversial German pricing process.

As the company announced yesterday, early indications for Brilique are good. The country's Federal Joint Committee decided that the drug delivered an "important additional benefit" for the vast majority of patients with acute coronary syndrome. The word "additional" is key here; Germany's new pricing system will automatically knock drugs without it into a lower pricing tier.

On a 1-to-6 rating system, with one being the best, Brilique earned a two rating for 72% of ACS patients and a 5 for the remainder. With that two rating, AstraZeneca has the chance to negotiate a price with the government.

The company said that it's "pleased with this preliminary assessment." The next step: AstraZeneca will respond to the committee's assessment, and then a final determination will come, probably at the beginning of 2012. Then the company will start talking numbers with German officials.

- read AstraZeneca's release
- get more from Dow Jones
- check out the Reuters article