6 Jan 2014

Price realism needed at Pharmac - drug company

9:08 am on 6 January 2014

A drug company says Pharmac needs to be realistic about the cost of medicines for rare diseases.

Eight patients in New Zealand have PNH, a rare blood disorder.

In December, the agency turned down funding for Soliris, saying an unreasonably high price sought by Alexion, the maker, was behind its decision.

Pharmac said Alexion wants $670,000 per patient, per year, making it one of the most expensive medicines ever evaluated by the agency.

However, Alexion general manager David Kwasha said PNH is incredibly rare and the cost is in line with what the drug sells for in almost 50 other countries.

He said the company would be happy to resume negotiations with Pharmac.