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Seattle Genetics Receives FDA Approval for Lymphoma Drug Adcetris Set to Cost $13,500 a Dose–A Dendreon Rerun?

Posted Aug 22 2011 8:04pm

Here’s another drug that is going to hard to afford and no word yet on insurance coverage as it’s too soon for that and then too what will Medicare have to say.  8 image doses would be over $100,000 for a patient, thus the quivers again of what happened with Dendreon so we have another drug that who know who will be able to afford and how much will be covered.  Shoot the other day, and I get all kinds of mail in my inbox I had a reader asking me about Zytiga on where he could get help as he said he had insurance but still needed to pay $25,000 out of pocket, so how much is insurance covering these days on expensive new cancer drugs that extend life? 

More drugs we can’t afford?  In the meantime the genetic drugs needed for chemotherapy still are running short all over the country.  Actually the FDA estimated 16 injections would be a standard dose, so now we have blown Dendreon (Provenge) way out of the water and have a new contender for the #1 spot as far as cost is concerned.  BD

Seattle Genetics is making news all over the Web today, in the first full business day since it won FDA approval for its new targeted antibody drug for rare lymphomas.

While the drug won FDA approval a little bit earlier than expected, the company kept everyone in suspense until today on one critical fact—how much the drug is going to cost. The company announced earlier today that it will charge $13,500 for each dose of brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris) for patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and anaplastic large cell lymphoma.

What does that mean? The drug is given as an intravenous infusion once every three weeks, for about 30 minutes. Experience from clinical trials says patients got between 7-9 infusions. If you estimate the average patient gets eight infusions, it will cost $108,000 per patient. If you estimate that patients will get the maximum of 16 infusions as outlined under the FDA prescribing information, then the price jumps to $216,000 per patient. The company says it doesn’t know exactly how many infusions patients will get in real-world experience.


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