ARTICLE | Politics & Policy

NICE recommends Soliris, but tries to stem costs

January 28, 2015 2:32 AM UTC

The U.K.'s NICE is relying on requirements around dose adjustments and stopping rules for clinical reasons to rein in costs to NHS of use of the rare disease drug Soliris eculizumab from Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ALXN). In its final guidance, NICE recommended use of the humanized mAb against complement 5 (C5) to treat atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS).

NICE had objected to the drug's high cost, yet in its appraisal admitted that Soliris provided significant clinical benefit. Since NICE's Highly Specialised Technology (HST) appraisal process does not evalute cost effectiveness, the agency had tried to force Alexion to justify the Orphan drug's price by providing information on Soliris' R&D costs -- information Alexion declined to share (see BioCentury, March 17, 2014). ...