Call it a new pricing strategy. Bristol-Myers Squibb is preparing to launch the cancer treatment Erbitux in Canada after a two-year wrangle over cost. Approved by Health Canada in September 2005, Erbitux never went on sale because Bristol-Myers and the Patented Medicines Prices Review Board couldn't agree. Now, the drugmaker has acceded to the price the board set. "We think [the price] did not recognize the value of innovation that Erbitux represents," BMS's Marc Osborne said,Â "but with the overall survival data, we decided it's time to market this drug."
Next, the government has to check out the drug's manufacturing process, and once that's approved, the provinces will decide whether to cover Erbitux. Ontario looks like a safe bet: It currently sends patients to the U.S. for treatment.
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