NICE rejects AbbVie’s leukaemia drug

pharmafile | February 16, 2017 | News story | Sales and Marketing AbbVie 

NICE has rejected AbbVie Venclyxto (venetoclax) for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukmaemia, on various grounds but primarily focusing upon the evidence base for the drug. Pricing was also an issue for the drug, exceeding the £30,000 per QALY limit.

The issues in full for the acceptance of the drug were that the committee concluded that the single-arm design of the clinical trials “meant that the results were potentially biased and that the trials included relatively few people.” NICE also stated that “The company did not present analyses using an appropriate source of data for the comparator, as the patients in the comparator trial did not reflect those for whom venetoclax may be option”.

It comes as a blow to AbbVie, which has high hopes for the drug. It had recently received, at the end of last year, conditional approval from the European Commission and had hoped to expand quickly into the UK market.

AbbVie expects the drug to become its latest blockbusters, with predictions of hitting sales figures of $1.5 to $2 billion by 2020.

Ben Hargreaves

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