Benefits of Lilly's diabetes candidate tirzepatide aren't better than other diabetes drugs, says watchdog ICER
Eli Lilly’s tirzepatide — the type 2 diabetes candidate and Trulicity’s heir apparent, projected to be a megablockbuster drug within the next five years — has been waiting on the FDA to give it the OK. Yet according to cost watchdog ICER, there is still some doubt about just how useful it can be to patients when compared to top rivals.
The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review released its report on the drug candidate earlier today, giving evidence for the drug a “B+” rating and saying “the evidence provides high certainty that tirzepatide delivers at least a small net health benefit when added to background therapy, with the possibility of a substantial net health benefit.”
However, ICER’s Jon Campbell, SVP for health economics, said that there still is some uncertainty.
“When compared to injectable semaglutide in one head-to-head trial, tirzepatide showed a greater decrease in HbA1c levels, weight, triglycerides, and blood pressure,” Campbell said in a statement. “However, studies of cardiovascular outcomes with tirzepatide have not been concluded, and therefore there is still uncertainty on its true comparative clinical effectiveness in relation to other available treatment options.”
When ICER took a vote on clinical effectiveness, here’s what ended up happening:
A unanimous majority (13-0) found the evidence for tirzepatide is enough to demonstrate a net health benefit when tirzepatide added to background therapy is compared to background therapy alone.
A slight majority (7-6) found that the evidence is not adequate to demonstrate a net health benefit when tirzepatide added to background therapy is compared to injectable semaglutide, the drug name for Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic.
A majority (10-2 with 1 abstention) found that the evidence is not adequate to demonstrate a net health benefit when tirzepatide added to background therapy is compared to empagliflozin, which is the drug name for Boehringer Ingelheim’s Jardiance.
Eli Lilly has not yet announced what the treatment’s US price would be if approved — but in the meantime, ICER introduced what it thinks is a reasonable price range for the drug. The recommendation? $5,500-$5,700 a year, on the high side. The company predicted that the price for the drug would be around $4,643.50, based on the price of injectable semaglutide.
Social image: Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)