How Does Cost versus Dosing Impact Prescriber Preferences and Payer Policy?
The prevalence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is increasing with the aging population in China. Therapies targeting vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are fairly successful in delaying the disease progression of wet AMD, a leading cause of blindness. Notable agents include Lucentis (Novartis’s ranibizumab), newly launched and locally manufactured Langmu (Chengdu Kanghong’s conbercept), and compounded Avastin (Roche’s bevacizumab), which is used off-label but is far less expensive than other agents in the class. However, none of the premium-priced anti-VEGF agents is included on the national or provincial drug formularies. To maximize opportunity in the Chinese market, developers of emerging therapies must carefully balance preferred pricing with uptake potential, especially when taking into account the availability of Avastin and local product Langmu, as well as the anticipated emergence of anti-VEGF biosimilars.