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NICE turns down AZ's chronic obstructive pulmonary disease drug

Published on 13/02/17 at 10:31am

AstraZeneca’s Daxas (roflumilast) has been knocked back in draft guidance by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), rejected by the regulator as a treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The treatment was rejected on the basis of cost-effectiveness; AstraZeneca calculated the drug’s price per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained at £18,774, but NICE placed the figure at £71,365 by utilising different data, leaving the committee no choice but to brand the drug as an inefficient use of NHS resources.

AZ had submitted the drug to be considered in adult patients with chronic bronchitis and frequent exacerbations, to be used as an add-on to bronchodilator treatment.

AstraZeneca acquired the selective phosphodiesterase-4 enzyme inhibitor through its $575 million purchase of Takeda’s core respiratory business, first announced in December 2015 and completed in May last year. The treatment functions by identifying and acting on cells and mediators key to the development and progression of COPD.

Matt Fellows

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