Japan sets 50 percent
price cut for Bristol Myers' Opdivo cancer drug
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[November 17, 2016]
(Reuters) - Japan's health ministry
has set a 50 percent cut in the price of Opdivo, a costly immune
system-boosting cancer drug produced by Bristol Myers Squibb Co and
marketed in the country by Ono Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, Ono Pharmaceutical
The halving of the price on Opdivo, approved in Japan for treating
advanced melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer and kidney cancer,
will take effect from February 1, 2017, Ono Pharmaceutical said in
an emailed statement on Wednesday.
Japan's government-run health system typically adjusts drug prices
every two years, but Opdivo's high price tag raised costs so much
that officials decided to intervene with the steep price cut,
according to local media reports and confirmed by Ono.
The company said the new Japanese price for a 20 mg vial of Opdivo
will be 75,100 yen, and 364,925 yen for the 100 mg vial. Its current
annual list price is 35 million yen ($321,787), based on the volume
of drug needed to treat an average-size patient for a year.
Opdivo is part of a new class of cancer drugs designed to fight
cancer by unleashing the body's own immune system to kill tumors.
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In the United States, Opdivo's average list price is $13,100 per
month, or $157,200 per year, according to Bristol Myers. The company
said the U.S. price of Opdivo, first approved in late 2014, was
increased by 1.5 percent earlier this year.
(Reporting By Deena Beasley in Los Angeles; Editing by Muralikumar
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