This is great news for Kenilworth, now adding the 28 member states of the EU to Canada — and the US — as approved Keytruda® geographical sales channels.
Yes, Opdivo® is already there — and yes, BMS is a year ahead, in the larger burden NSCLC (lung cancer), and renal cell cancer races. But having options is an extremely important development, for the patients, and the payers. Now there is the real possibility that Merck will ultimately engage in price competition, against BMS — to “win market share” in melanoma in the EU. And that will benefit both payers and patients.
[I suppose I should note that Keytruda was compared in these studies to BMS’s last generation therapy — not head to head, against Opdivo.] in any event, from the early morning presser, then:
. . . .”Today’s European approval supports our goal of accelerating immuno-oncology research for the benefit of patients around the world,” said Dr. Roger M. Perlmutter, president, Merck Research Laboratories. “We believe that the broad data set supporting this approval helps illustrate the significant potential of KEYTRUDA to treat advanced melanoma, a devastating disease.”
“Merck has long-believed that innovation and access must go hand-in-hand, which is why we work to bring forward new innovations, and ensure access to those innovations,” said Deepak Khanna, senior vice president and regional president, Europe, MSD Oncology. “Merck is committed to working collaboratively with governments and other stakeholders to ensure that KEYTRUDA will be made available to advanced melanoma patients in Europe as rapidly as possible. . . .”
And so, onward we forge, in the race to improve lives of cancer patients the world over. [Planetary science side note: A new range of Appalachian-sized mountains was just revealed in the Southwestern “Heart of Pluto”. New images at NASA — thrilling!]