- Elil Lilly has priced its new lung cancer med Portrazza (necitumumab) at $11,430 a month. Portrazza was approved in November for the treatment of squamous non-small cell lung cancer.
- In clinical trials, Portrazza extended median patient life by six to seven weeks.
- In an article published in JAMA Oncology prior to approval, physicians suggested that an appropriate price would be about $1,870 for a 30-day supply.
Given the current climate, Portrazza may soon be in the cross hairs as another example of high-priced medications. Furthermore, some cancer experts consider the survival gain associated with Portrazza as modest. Even with the additional six to seven weeks of life, the average survival period was still only 11.5 months.
Last week, the WSJ published an article break down the price of cancer drugs. According to the article, the average price of a cancer drug is $10,000 per month—a figured which has doubled over the last 10 years. Based on the WSJ analysis, pricing a cancer drug under $10,000 appears to provoke much less outcry than pricing above the $10,000 mark.
Portrazza does have plenty of company above the $10,000 mark. However, given the current price-sensitive climate, physicians may have to rely on prior authorizations to use the drug as payers seek to limit use of high-priced specialty drugs.