Currently Viewing:
Currently Reading
Blood Clots in MPN Related to Higher Cost, Length of Stay for Patients With MPN
August 17, 2019 – AJMC Staff
FDA Panel Backs Use of Descovy for HIV Prevention in Men, Transgender Women
August 16, 2019 – Jaime Rosenberg
Researcher Excited About Future of Psoriasis Treatment
August 16, 2019 – Allison Inserro
This Week in Managed Care: August 16, 2019
August 16, 2019
AJMC® in the Press, August 16, 2019
August 16, 2019 – AJMC Staff
Pediatric Leukemia Treatment Linked to Increased Risk of Infections, Study Finds
August 16, 2019 – Alison Rodriguez
5 Findings From the August 2019 Issue of AJMC®
August 16, 2019 – Christina Mattina
Treatment for Parental Tobacco Use Shown to Be Significantly Effective in a Pediatric Setting, Study Shows
August 16, 2019 – Matthew Gavidia
What We're Reading: Generic Pricing Probe; EpiPen Coverage; Mass. Insurers to Merge
August 16, 2019 – AJMC Staff

NICE Not Alone in Pushback on Cancer Drug Prices

Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, PhD
The Colombian government is forcing pharmaceutical giant Novartis to lower prices of its leukemia medicine, imatinib (Gleevec).
The Colombian government is forcing pharmaceutical giant Novartis to lower prices of its leukemia medicine, imatinib (Gleevec).

According to abc News, the health minister of Colombia, Alejandro Gaviria, was in negotiations with Novartis to lower the price of imatinib, which is a Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase inhibitor that was approved by the FDA in 2001 to treat patients with Philadelphia chromosome–positive chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). But the negotiations have failed and Gaviria plans to publish a resolution to mandate lower price of the medicine without opening the market for generic competition.

The basic compound patent on imatinib mesylate expired on July 4, 2015, in the United States and expires this year in Europe. While several companies had their generic version of imatinib mesylate ready for submission to the FDA, Sun Pharmaceuticals was the first company to be granted approval in December 2015, in addition to product exclusivity for 6 months before other generic makers flush the market with their product.

Interestingly, payers would still include the generic imatinib in the specialty tier (threshold is $600 for a 1-month supply), as Michael Kolodziej, MD, national medical director of Aetna, told the Pink Sheet. Kolodziej said that Aetna plans a fail-first strategy, in that Gleevec would be approved for treatment-naïve patients with CML only if they fail on the generic product. Gleevec remains a top-seller for Novartis, and it brought in $4.7 billion worldwide (10% of the company’s total revenue) in 2015, according to abc News.

Colombia’s dispute with Novartis could set a precedent for middle income countries as they struggle to meet the rising prices of potentially curative treatments in cancer. The dispute, according to the report, could have much broader implications on trade negotiations between the United States and Colombia.

Novartis, meanwhile, said that disagreements stemmed from the fact that price control strategies are already in place in Colombia, in addition to generic competition.

Colombia has a government-funded health system, and the ministry of health has estimated that funding the $15,000 annual course of Gleevec would cost the government $15 million per year.

Copyright AJMC 2006-2019 Clinical Care Targeted Communications Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Welcome the the new and improved, the premier managed market network. Tell us about yourself so that we can serve you better.
Sign Up