More drugs are being approved with annual costs that exceed $100,000 a year, and more will be in coming years. Among recent example is Ariad Pharmaceuticals’ drug Iclusig (ponatinib), approved by FDA December 14 for adults with chronic myeloid leukemia and Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Iclusig is being priced at $115,000 per year’s supply; it is Ariad’s first approved branded drug product. Another recently approved drug, Cometriq (cabozantinib), is an inhibitor of multiple receptor tyrosine kinases approved November 29 for treating progressive, metastatic medullary thyroid cancer (MTC).
Drug developer Exelixis plans to price Cometriq at $9,900 for a 28-day supply, or more than $119,880 annually. All the same, biopharma drug developers will want to make up from somewhere the money they will lose as generic competition grows, and as Washington reduces reimbursements as part of the Affordable Care Act. For what it’s worth, Forbes’ Matt Herper made the same prediction last year. Things surely have not changed since then.