Tagrisso set as first-line therapy for non-small cell lung cancer under reimbursement criteria

Tagrisso set as first-line therapy for non-small cell lung cancer under reimbursement criteria.

Tagrisso (osimertinib), developed by AstraZeneca Korea, has been approved as a first-line therapy for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) under reimbursement criteria. Similarly, chronic myeloid leukemia treatment drug, Tasigna (nilotinib) developed by Novartis Korea, was also deemed reasonable for reimbursement criteria.

The Korean National Evidence-based Healthcare Collaborating Agency's (NECA) oncology expert committee reached this conclusion at its second meeting on anti-cancer drug reimbursement criteria on April 22, 2023.

Tagrisso, despite its high efficacy, was previously classified as a second-line therapy, and patient advocates have long pushed for its reimbursement expansion. However, previous attempts to expand reimbursement were unsuccessful.

The committee agreed that setting reimbursement criteria for Tagrisso as a therapy for locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC patients with EGFR exon 19 deletions or exon 21 (L858R) substitution mutations is reasonable. The drug had waited over three years for reimbursement criteria to be set and has now finally succeeded.

Tagrisso will now undergo further evaluation of its reimbursement adequacy by the NECA drug reimbursement evaluation committee before proceeding to negotiations with the National Health Insurance Corporation and a report to the Ministry of Health and Welfare's Health Insurance Policy Deliberation Committee to be listed in the reimbursement list.

The expert committee also agreed to set reimbursement criteria for a new drug, Symbyax (olanzapine and fluoxetine), which is used to treat bipolar disorder and treatment-resistant depression.

Meanwhile, the breast cancer treatment drug, Enhertu (trastuzumab deruxtecan) developed by Daiichi Sankyo Korea, which had also requested reimbursement expansion, was not approved and will be reconsidered.

Additionally, Korea Janssen's multiple myeloma treatment drug, Darzalex (daratumumab), failed to meet the reimbursement criteria for expansion.