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Soliris seems to be Overpriced say cost watchdogs

Now that AstraZeneca has Soliris, Alexion is banking on the C5 inhibitor to help the company reach billions in sales in a matter of years. However, a well-known drug pricing watchdog is concerned about the costs for patients with a rare neuromuscular condition. The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) released research on Friday that looked at the cost-effectiveness of Soliris, also known as eculizumab, and the up-and-comer efgartigimod for myasthenia gravis patients.

Soliris initially approved in 2017 for generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG), has a list price of around $470,000 per year. However, according to ICER, the cost is “\far beyond conventional standards. According to Soliris‘ analysis, a “significant decrease” would be required to reach a more suitable price. ICER calculated a range of $6,900 to $50,000 per QALY to $25,700 to $200,000 per QALY using the widely used measure of illness burden known as quality-adjusted life-year (QALY).

After reviewing Soliris‘ late-stage trial results, the researchers concluded that the drug provides a slight advantage to patients with anti-AChR antibodies, with moderate confidence of a minor or considerable net health benefit. However, Argenx’s efgartigimod has yet to receive FDA approval, and its pricing will determine its final cost-effectiveness.

Given ICER’s concerns about efgartigimod’s dose and long-term benefits, the organization stated that it is “moderately certain” that the medicine can provide a “similar, minor, or considerable net health benefit” in the same population of MG patients. Except that there isn’t enough data to assess its usefulness in people who don’t have anti-AChR antibodies.The researchers at ICER utilized a two-year treatment horizon in their model, but they cautioned that it’s uncertain how long patients should stay on these medications. In addition, according to ICER, the model may not adequately depict the issues that the disease poses to patients.

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