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Regulators deem Pfizer’s price for cancer therapy too high
  • By Nam Doo-hyun
  • Published 2017.06.09 17:31
  • Updated 2017.06.09 18:46
  • comments 0

Insurance coverage negotiations for Pfizer’s expensive breast cancer drug, Ibrance, have come to a stop.

Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service건강보험심사평가원(HIRA) said Friday that it could not acknowledge Pfizer’s bidding price for Ibrance(compound: palbociclib) upon reviewing its application, even after considering the necessity of the drug.

Patients have expressed their frustrations about the expensive anticancer drug that will cost up to 5.5 million won ($4,900) a month.

"Although Ibrance has proved clinical effectiveness and necessity, the company’s suggested price is too high, and far exceeds the ‘effect-to-improvement cost range,’” said an official of HIRA’s insurance benefit listing department. “We will reevaluate the drug once Pfizer cuts prices and submits further cost-effectiveness data.”

HIRA added that the results of the evaluation might be different if they find changes in the drug’s insurance benefit scope, drug classification, approval conditions, or approval status.

Meanwhile, most other companies that bid for insurance benefits won HIRA’s stamp of approval. The approved drugs include Amgen’s osteoporosis drug, Novartis’ treatment for psoriasis arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis and chronic heart failure therapy, AstraZeneca’s ovarian cancer drug, and Takeda Pharmaceutical’s ulcerative colitis drug.


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