Oncologists question Lilly lung cancer hopeful's pricing in growing trend
- In an article published in JAMA Oncology, doctors pointed out that Eli Lilly's investigational necitumumab only increases life expectancy by 6 to 7 weeks in lung-cancer patients.
- In addition, necitumumab also increased risk of blood clots and other adverse events.
- The physician authors, who are from Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology, have argued that necitumumab should only cost $1,745 per month.
Value-based drug pricing, including for cancer drugs, is coming into its own. Last week, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN said it will introduce a new tool in October to provide a cost-benefits analysis for various oncologic treatments).
The logic here is that the benefit in terms of additional weeks or months of survival should dictate pricing. Overall, most new cancer drugs cost more than $10,000 per month, according to Dr. Daniel Goldstein of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, as reported by the WSJ. However, this drug simply is not worth that much, he said.
In response, Lilly cited the complexity of oncology drug pricing, noting the fact that squamous non-small cell lung cancer is difficult to treat and represents a longstanding, unmet medical need.