Green light for expensive lung cancer medicine
Norwegian lung cancer patients will now be offered immunotherapy as the first treatment choice.
The Decision Forum for new methods made the decision on Monday, writes Dagens Medisin (Today’s Medicine). Thereby enabling Norwegian patients to receive immunotherapy even before other treatments have been tried.
The decision has previously been postponed because it has been a demanding ethical question. The price of the drug pembrolizumab (with the brand name Keytruda) is very high, but as many as 400-500 patients are eligble for treatment every year.The Norwegian Medicines Agency has considered that the drug fulfills the prioritization criteria and that treatment is cost-effective based on the secret price negotiated with the MSD drug company.
Hospital managers have feared that a yes to Keytruda as first-line therapy, would make major inroads into hospital budgets and therefore affect other patient groups.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today