Johnson & Johnson (J&J) received a rejection from the United Kingdom’s National Institute of Care and Excellence (NICE) regarding its new leukemia drug Imbruvica.
NICE’s job is to decide which drugs should be covered under health insurance plans in England and Wales. Draft guidance issued by the agency said it wasn’t confident Imbruvica “represented an effective use of resources,” according to Reuters. It has a list price of $78,000 a year or 55,954.50 pounds
Imbruvica has shown promise in treating three different types of blood cancer, but NICE felt this medication wasn’t a viable treatment option for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients who would not be good candidates for chemo-immunotherapy, reported FiercePharma.
J&J’s European supplier Janssen released a statement expressing their dismay at this decision. The company was “extremely disappointed” because 48 countries have accepted the drug under the CLL indication.
Janssen said it will work with NICE to find a way to ensure patients continue to have access to Imbruvica. FiercePharma elaborated that Imbruvica is a top-seller for Janssen. It brought in $235 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 versus $92 million in the previous year.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery