GSK offers U.K. fixed price for Tyverb

GlaxoSmithKline is doing some fancy number-crunching in an attempt to get the U.K. to cover its cancer med Tyverb (sold as Tykerb in the U.S.). According to the Financial Times, GSK is working on a pioneering deal that would cap the cost of Tyverb--no matter how many patients sign on to use it.

You'll recall that the drug got E.U. approval for use in late-stage breast cancer, but the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence--which decides which meds the U.K.'s National Health Service will pay for--rejected it as too costly. So GSK has gone back to the drawing board, trying to combat the "too expensive" label with a fixed-price deal. The company would set a minimum price to cover several thousand patients, which it estimates to represent about 70 percent of those in the U.K. who might turn to Tyverb after failing on other cancer treatments. If more patients used it, the price would stay the same.

Innovative pricing methods are growing increasingly popular as drugmakers find governments less willing to pay for expensive meds. For instance, the NHS already made a deal with Johnson & Johnson to pay for the blood cancer drug Velcade only when patients respond to it.

- read the FT story