US lawmakers demand price cut for Astellas, Medivation’s prostate cancer drug Xtandi

pharmafile | March 30, 2016 | News story | Business Services, Manufacturing and Production, Research and Development, Sales and Marketing Astellas, Japan, Medivation, US FDA, Xtandi, drug price 

US lawmakers have asked the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services to ‘use its authority’ to help lower the price of prostate cancer therapy Xtandi (enzalutamide).

The drug is produced by Japanese drug major Astellas Pharma (TYO: 4503) and US-based Medivation (Nasdaq: MDVN).

A group of US Senators are seeking a public hearing over Xtandi, saying the therapy was developed at the University of California, Los Angeles, with the help of taxpayer-supported research grants, from the US Army and NIH grants. The hearing is targeted at determining whether the government should invoke march-in rights to override the drug’s patent exclusivity and force the therapy to be sold in the country for less.

The petition says Astellas has priced Xtandi in the US at $129 000 for a course of treatment, which is over three times the price of $39,000 in Sweden and Japan and $30,000 in Canada. Further, the march-in rights to set new prices have not been used since they were introduced in 1980 in the context of high pharmaceutical prices.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Xtandi in 2012 to treat metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Shares in Medivation closed down over 6% on the Nasdaq Tuesday. Astellas shares closed down over 2% on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Wednesday. 

Anjali Shukla

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