GSK offers discount to win UK green light for platelet drug

LONDON Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:06pm EDT

A GlaxoSmithKline logo is seen outside one of its buildings in west London, February 6, 2008. REUTERS/Toby Melville

A GlaxoSmithKline logo is seen outside one of its buildings in west London, February 6, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Toby Melville

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LONDON (Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline has finally won a green light from Britain's healthcare cost agency NICE for its platelet-boosting drug Revolade, after offering a price discount to the country's state-run healthcare service.

Revolade, also known as eltrombopag, was originally rejected in 2010 by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) as not cost-effective.

Draft guidance published on Wednesday now recommends it for certain patients with chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura, a bleeding disorder, following the discount offer from GSK. The size of the discount is commercially confidential.

An increasing number of medicines are only approved by NICE after drug manufacturers provide such a discount, underlining the challenge that companies face in securing reimbursement for products in Europe, where health budgets are under scrutiny.

NICE said it expected to issue final guidance on Revolade next month.

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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