[Ip-health] Japan sets 50 pct price cut for Opdivo cancer drug: Ono Pharma

Ruth Lopert ruth.lopert at gmail.com
Thu Dec 8 04:41:41 PST 2016

Will be interesting to see if the Japanese action prompts similar
opprobrium from USTR as Colombia's action on imatinib.


Nov 16 A Japanese health ministry council has approved a 50 percent cut in
the price of Opdivo, a costly immune system-boosting cancer drug produced
by Bristol Myers Squibb Co and marketed in the country by Ono
Pharmaceutical Co Ltd.

Opdivo, approved in Japan for treating advanced melanoma, non-small cell
lung cancer and kidney cancer, has a current annual list price of 35
million yen ($321,787). The 50 percent price cut will take effect in
February, Ono Pharmaceutical said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

Japan's government-run health system typically adjusts drug prices every
two years, but Opdivo's high price tag raised costs so much that officials
decided to intervene with the steep price cut, according to local media
reports confirmed by Ono.

Opdivo is part of a new class of cancer drugs designed to fight cancer by
unleashing the body's own immune system to kill tumors.

In the United States, Opdivo's average list price is $13,100 per month, or
$157,200 per year, according to Bristol Myers. The company said the U.S.
price of Opdivo, first approved in late 2014, was increased by 1.5 percent
earlier this year. (Reporting By Deena Beasley; Editing by Muralikumar

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