A recent report has revealed that Bristol-Myers Squibb’s blockbuster medication Opdivo could be priced in China about half of what it is in the U.S.
BMS said it is still working with regulators in China to set the price. But according to a report in Stat news, Opdivo will cost roughly $84,000 a year in China — compared to $150,000 in the U.S.
In June, Opdivo was approved in China to treat non-small-cell lung cancer. Like its main rival, Merck’s Keytruda, the immunotherapy treatment works by targeting the PD-1 protein. It was the first medication of its kind to win approval in China, but Keytruda was also green-lighted there a month later.
In the U.S., Opdivo is now indicated to treat eight different kinds of cancers and it has become one of BMS’ top-selling drugs. In the second quarter of this year, global sales for Opdivo grew by 36 percent to $1.63 billion.
Part of the price difference between the U.S. and China could stem from China’s current goal of providing universal healthcare, prompting companies to provide discounts to the government. The list prices also do not generally reflect what patients actually pay after insurance.