NICE asks Boehringer for more Pradaxa info

The U.K.'s cost-effectiveness watchdog is carefully eyeing Boehringer Ingelheim's new clot-fighting drug. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence says Pradaxa, a new alternative to the old bloodthinner warfarin, just isn't cost-effective--at least not using the data Boehringer has provided so far.

NICE asked the German company for more information about Pradaxa, especially the cost effectiveness compared with warfarin. The agency thought Boehringer had overestimated the costs of monitoring patients on warfarin, thus overstating the cost-effectiveness of its alternative. Plus, NICE wants "a more plausible set of assumptions" about Pradaxa's use in clinical practice, including better models for the type of atrial fibrillation patients found in the U.K.

As InPharm reports, Pradaxa is estimated to cost £2.52 per day, or £919.80 per year ($1,520). Warfarin costs the NHS only £14.60 per year ($24). But the cost of warfarin alone doesn't cover everything; because of individual dosing differences, patients using warfarin have to be monitored. Boehringer has estimated that cost at £414.90, but NICE puts the average at £115.14.

NICE did acknowledge that because it doesn't require monitoring, Pradaxa would be easier for patients to take. And the agency recognized that the drug was superior to warfarin at reducing the risk of stroke, "an important development for patients with atrial fibrillation."

- get the report from NICE
- see the InPharm story