The U.K.'s cost-effectiveness watchdogs have warmed up to Amgen's ($AMGN) bone drug Xgeva. The company sweetened its discount offer, and that persuaded the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to let the drug in.
In final draft guidance, NICE recommended Xgeva as a treatment for cancer patients with bone metastases. It's not a recommendation for Xgeva as a cancer fighter or a pain reliever, the agency pointed out, but as a therapy to prevent skeletal events--e.g., fractures--in breast cancer patients and others whose cancer has spread from solid tumors (excluding prostate cancer).
Initially, NICE said the drug was too pricey for its benefits. Its retail price for 13 courses, or a year's treatment, was just over £4,000 ($6,277), InPharm reports. But Amgen offered a discount, and that made a difference. The amount of that price break wasn't disclosed.
The draft guidance is expected to be finalized completely later this year, making Xgeva available for eligible patients on the National Health Service.
- see the NICE release
- read the PM Live story
- get more from InPharm
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