UK – AstraZeneca wins NICE backing for asthma injection

NICE hails 'competitive pharma market'. NICE has recommended the use of AstraZeneca’s severe asthma treatment Faserna (benralizumab) after the company revised its initial pricing offer. The recommendation from England's cost effectiveness watchdog gives AZ's injection a toe-hold in the market, where GSK's Nucala and Teva's Cinqaero are already NICE-approved.

The UK’s cost effectiveness watchdog said in an earlier appraisal consultation document that the drug was not cost-effective, but recognised the demand for such drug, and subsequently approved it under a strict set of criteria.

It was restricted to patients who exhibited a high count (400) of eosinophil’s cells in the past year, had at least three exacerbations in the last year and only when GlaxoSmithKline’s Nucala (mepolizumab) is not appropriate.

But the revised offer from AstraZeneca has led to  a broader recommendation from NICE, which will see the NHS fund its use for patients struggling to control severe eosinophilic asthma with inhalers…