Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Flat pricing of ibrutinib

Sales revenues at the potential expense of patient safety

A group of oncologists is urging the Food and Drug Administration to review a new, flat-pricing strategy for all doses of ibrutinib (Imbruvica), calling the shift potentially dangerous for patients.

Pharmacyclics, an AbbVie company based in Sunnyvale, Calif., recently introduced a new, single-tablet formulation of ibrutinib in varying strengths (140 mg, 280 mg, 420 mg, and 560 mg) and set a flat price across all doses. At the same time, they removed the drug’s original 140-mg capsules – which cost about a third of the new, flat-rate price – from the market. The drug company says the new, single-tablet formulations give patients a convenient, once-a-day dosing regimen that could improve therapy adherence.

The new pricing system makes it harder for physicians to adjust the dose without running afoul of insurers and potentially affecting access for patients.

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Sales revenues at the potential expense of patient safety

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