Thursday, February 02, 2012

J&J’s Zytiga Cancer Drug Too Expensive, U.K. Cost Agency Says - Businessweek

By Phil Serafino

Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- A Johnson & Johnson prostate-cancer medicine discovered in England and developed with funds from U.K. charities is too expensive for the country’s National Health Service.

The NHS shouldn’t pay for Zytiga because the drug’s benefits don’t justify the cost even after the manufacturer agreed to cut the price, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence said in a statement today. The agency, known as NICE, advises the state-run medical system on which treatments it should pay for. J&J and the public have a chance to comment on the decision, which is preliminary, NICE said.

Advocates for cancer patients criticized the ruling, saying the drug helps keep men alive after chemotherapy has failed to stop their cancer. Zytiga, which costs 2,930 pounds ($4,640) for a 30-day supply, may extend life by more than three months compared with a placebo, and can be taken orally at home, London-based NICE said. The agency isn’t disclosing the discount that New Brunswick, New Jersey-based J&J agreed to provide.

Posted via email from Jack's posterous

No comments: