Eisai Joins Up With Valeant To Promote Halaven

After failing to gain approval from UK cost watchdog, NICE, for the use of Halaven in treating breast cancer, Eisai has linked up with Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, to promote the drug in Central and Eastern Europe.

Halaven received European Commission approval in March 2011.

Valeant’s PharmaSwiss division will distribute Halaven (eribulin) in Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Hungary, Lithuania and Slovenia for the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer whose disease has progressed after at least two chemotherapeutic regimens.

Eisai announced that they are currently working with Valeant to secure reimbursement of the drug in the CEE markets.  Eisai EMEA president, Gary Hendler, commented that the partnership means that access to Halaven can happen much sooner, as Eisai “does not need to establish locally-based offices in each country.”

Disappointment Over NICE Rejection

Halaven is currently available and reimbursed in a number of European countries, however Eisai is still annoyed over the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s decision not to recommend the drug.

The European director of market access at Eisai, Nick Burgin, noted that the business is “dismayed that NICE has chosen not to rethink its denial of eribulin.”  He added that NICE “is not giving enough support to women with advanced breast cancer and the physicians who want to treat them.  We hope that NICE grant a rapid re-review as new data is constantly emerging that will help inform their decision.”

Despite the decision, patients in England can access Halaven via the Government’s Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF), and Halaven is inside the top 12 most prescribed drugs through the CDF system.  However, the Cancer Drugs Fund does not encompass patients nationally and Northern Ireland “so unequal access will continue to be a problem,” Eisai noted.


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