Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Ibrutinib rejected in England

Before the deafening calls for single payer health care overwhelm any thoughtful discussion about how to pay for crazy expensive medications, I thought this article highlights just how much autonomy is removed in such a system.

England Rejects Ibrutinib in CLL

While our system is definitely a broken mess, at least we can prescribe Ibrutinib without having a major fight with insurance in most cases.


  1. The British NHS, like most social programs in the UK, has been slashed to ribbons by years by "austerity measures." I would suggest this situation is not uninvolved in the British decision. In Canada, where we have a single payer system, the novel agents, such as Ibrutinib, are generally available at no extra cost to the patient (health insurance is managed at the provincial level, here). Arguably, a broader and more nuanced sample of the performance of state run health care regimes in the developed world (Germany?) would lead to the thoughtful discussion you call for.

  2. $78,000/year. Wouldn't we love to see the actuarial numbers behind some of the pricing of these drugs?

  3. The median age of CLL patients is somewhere in 65 - 70. I wonder if NICE is looking at this group and saying "Their productive years are over. Let us not spend on them".


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