Hero or shrewd businessman.

SORAFENIB OR TIVOZANIB: Price war begins too early.

Sorafenib is the standard drug for treatment of kidney and liver cancer but like all drugs it has its own complications. Now there is a new drug around the corner. It is called Tivozanib. While the former is able to inhibit VEGF receptor 2 & 3, the letter can inhibit all three receptors. It is stated that Tivozanib is the next generation drug which would soon replace Sorafenib.

Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd. and AVEO Oncology confirmed today that tivozanib, a novel once-daily oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), successfully achieved its primary endpoint and demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in progression-free survof the CIPLA, really has no clue about the competitive drug business.ival (PFS) with 11.9 months compared to a median PFS of 9.1 months for sorafenib in the overall (Intention to Treat) population (HR=0.797, 95% CI 0.639–0.993; p=0.042).1 Importantly, tivozanib also demonstrated a favourable safety profile, consistent with prior analyses.1 (Source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/astellas-aveo-tivozanib-successfully-demonstrates-220000099.html)

So what you expect from a shrewd businessman? 1. He would cut the cost and get rid of his stock of sorafenib before the new drug (tivozanib) takes over. 2. He would start selling sorafenib at one fourth the price so that, the price factor, which is very important in a poverty ridden country like India, would ensure that the old drug would be preferred over the new drug. Viola CIPLA does it:

CIPLA …. announced it was slashing prices of its cancer drugs by as much as 75% in India. The company makes a generic version of Nexavar, a brand name cancer drug, used to treat certain types of kidney and liver cancer. Earlier, it sold it for Rs28,000 for a monthly dose. Now, CIPLA says it will sell the same at Rs. 6,840, cheaper than even the price offered by NATCO, another Indian generic drugmaker. The original branded drug costs Rs 2.84 lakh a month. (Source: http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/column_the-man-who-made-cancer-drugs-affordable-and-made-millions_1685381)

The only causality is journalism. The reporter who is hailing the owner of the CIPLA as HERO, really has no clue about the competitive drug business.

© Sandeep Bhalla

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