This week in biotech was all about payers:
The UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which provides guidance on use of new drugs and medical technologies, showed yet again that price is a key consideration, backing an Amgen drug only after being offered rebates by the manufacturer. This is one example of the general trend that regulatory approval is necessary, but not sufficient, for a successful product — payer adoption and approval is the real finish line.
Medicago, a Canadian company, made a big move south this week because the US Department of Defense is paying $21-million towards a new 90,000 sq ft state-of-the art production facility in North Carolina. Meanwhile, BIOTECanada’s push to expand the federal flow-through share program to biotech showed up in an article in the Financial Post this week, hopefully encouraging the payers at Revenue Canada to give the request a serious look.
Finally, a review of this year’s Canadian biotech and pharma licensing trends shows that even facing a patent cliff, pharmas (as licensing payers) still wield a fair amount of bargaining power.