U.K. Drug Price Authority Issues Keytruda® A Draft “No Go” For Lung Cancer — On Price/Cost-Effectiveness

mrk2-nice-oops-nsclc-prelim-2016 The erstwhile PharmaLetter was first out of the gate with this scoop, from across the pond.

I will say that the idea that a therapy might be “dinged” — on price, because one might need to keep taking it. . . may not ultimately rule the day, when a final decision is made, on advised treatments for NSCLC, by the single payer, in Britain. Me? I’d read this as a velvet glove, covering an iron fist — and inviting Merck to offer increasing UK discounts based on time on therapy, in NSCLC. So this has to be mildly disappointing news, for Kenilworth. More to come, but do go read PharmaLetter (and — a bit of it):

. . . .Medicines cost-effectiveness watchdog the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) today issued draft guidance not recommending US pharma giant Merck & Co’s (NYSE: MRK) Keytruda (pembrolizumab) to treat advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

There is currently no robust data on the long-term benefits of pembrolizumab. In its submission to the NICE, the company assumed that patients stopped using pembrolizumab at two years if their disease had not gotten any worse.

The NICE’s appraisal committee felt that in real-life clinical practice it was very unlikely that patients who were benefiting from treatment with the drug would stop taking it. . . .

Now you know — but this is only act one of a three act play — if the truth be told. Onward.

नमस्ते

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