Bloomberg News

AstraZeneca’s Brilique Had Added Benefit, German Agency Says

October 04, 2011

(Updates with company comment in fourth paragraph.)

Oct. 4 (Bloomberg) -- AstraZeneca Plc’s Brilique blood thinner helped patients with mild heart attacks or chest pain more than older drugs did, a German regulator said in a step toward setting the medicine’s price in Europe’s biggest market.

The drug provided an “important additional benefit” for such patients, the Cologne-based Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care said in a report posted today on its website. Brilique didn’t have an added benefit for patients who had experienced a more serious type of heart attack known as STEMI, the agency said.

Brilique is the first medicine tested under a drug pricing law that Germany’s government passed last year. In order to charge more for a new drug than for older therapies, companies must prove the new product works better than the older medicines. The law could save 2 billion euros ($2.65 billion) a year, regulators have estimated.

AstraZeneca is “pleased with this preliminary assessment,” and will respond to the Federal Joint Committee, the German body that makes drug reimbursement decisions, in coming weeks, the London-based manufacturer said in a statement.

About 72 percent of acute coronary syndrome patients in Germany have the types of conditions for which Brilique was found to be more helpful than existing drugs, AstraZeneca said.

Once the committee makes a decision about Brilique’s benefit, negotiations can begin with the Federal Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds, an umbrella organization of German statutory insurers.

German law allows drugmakers to set an initial price for their new medicines. AstraZeneca started selling Brilique, known as Brilinta in the U.S., in Germany in January.

--Editors: Tom Lavell, David Risser

To contact the reporter on this story: Naomi Kresge in Vienna via nkresge@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at pserafino@bloomberg.net


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