GlaxoSmithKline’s asthma drug ‘not cost effective’ according to the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review

An independent non-profit organisation that evaluates clinical and cost effectiveness of new medicines has found the price of GlaxoSmithKline’s drug for severe asthma should be as much as 76% lower to justify its value, according to the group’s latest draft report.
GlaxoSmithKline’s asthma drug ‘not cost effective’ according to the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review

The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, which is based in Boston, said its analysis indicated that Glaxo’s Nucala should be priced at $7,800 (€7,175) to about $12,000 a year.

That’s far below the drug’s list price of $32,500 a year.

It found that once-monthly injectable Nucala, which won US approval last month, significantly reduces asthma attacks and symptoms and decreases the need for oral steroids.

However, it found that the price was not cost-effective, and that there is uncertainty about whether the benefits will persist over the long term because of the short duration of clinical trials.

Glaxo, in an emailed statement, said it supports the work of ICER but disagrees with its conclusion.

It said controlling severe asthma attacks helps reduce direct and indirect costs to the healthcare system, such as the need for urgent care visits and hospitalisations.

“We believe that Nucala is fairly priced, balancing innovation and market value with patient access,” said Glaxo spokeswoman Sarah Spencer said.

In the same report, ICER found Novo Nordisk’s long-acting insulin Tresiba, which will compete with Sanofi’s big-selling Lantus, to be reasonably priced.

It said the list price of $7,800 per year was about 8% to 10% too high, but that that was “well within the range of typical discounts available to payers”.

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