Glaxo’s Revolade Wins U.K. Cost Agency’s Backing

GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK)’s Revolade won the backing of the U.K. health-cost agency in draft guidance on the treatment of a rare bleeding disorder after the drugmaker agreed to sell it to the state-run medical system at a discount.

Revolade is a cost-effective option for chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura in certain adults who have had their spleens removed and those who haven’t responded to at least one other therapy, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence said today in an e-mailed statement. NICE advises the National Health Service on which treatments represent value for money.

Today’s decision reverses a 2010 ruling that the drug was too costly. The net price of a pack of 28 25-milligram tablets is 770 pounds ($1,250). The agency didn’t disclose the size of the discount London-based Glaxo offered, saying it was confidential. Some companies offer to reduce prices by as much as 50 percent, NICE Chairman Michael Rawlins said in an interview this month. Final guidance on Revolade, also known as Promacta and eltrombopag, will be published in May, NICE said.

Chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura is caused by an abnormally low amount of platelets, which are needed for the blood to clot. People with the disorder have a daily risk of bleeding and bruising, though it isn’t normally fatal, according to NICE. As many as 3,500 people in England and Wales are affected by the illness, the agency said.

Revolade, approved in Europe in 2007, works by increasing platelet production. The product will have sales this year of about 139.4 million pounds, according to the average of five analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kristen Hallam in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at

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