The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence refused to recommend Janssen’s chronic lymphocytic leukemia treatment Imbruvica for reimbursement, but left the door open to further discussion.
Despite the rejection, the government cost watchdog called on the Johnson & Johnson unit to make a case for putting the treatment into the Cancer Drugs Fund for patients with a genetic mutation that speeds the disease’s progression. The drug already is on the CDF for patients without the mutation.
NICE’s independent advisory committee says that Janssen’s proposal that the drug be used as a second-line therapy was not cost effective, given its price tag of $80,500 per patient, per year. However, the group said that it wanted to know how the drug fared as a first-line treatment for this form of leukemia, particularly in patients with the genetic mutation.