AstraZeneca has been boosted by the news that the antiplatelet drug Brilique has received a recommendation to be used for most of its target patients in Germany under the country's new pricing system.

The German reimbursement body, the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA), has published the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Healthcare (IQWiG) preliminary assessment report regarding the medical benefit of Brilique (ticagrelor). The review is part of AMNOG (Arzneimittelmarkt-Neuordnungsgesetz), a new law for the mandatory pricing and reimbursement assessment for newly-introduced drugs in Germany and Brilique, known as Brilinta in the USA and other countries, is the first product to be evaluated under this process.

AstraZeneca said it is pleased with this preliminary assessment as the G-BA has decided Brilique offered "important additional benefit" for patients with non ST-elevation myocardial infarction and unstable angina. This covers 72% of the acute coronary syndromes (ACS) patient population in Germany.

The company said that it "looks forward to the next step in the process and will respond to the G-BA regarding the assessment in the coming weeks." This will be followed by the final benefit assessment, expected in early 2012, after which AstraZeneca will begin pricing discussions with the GKV-SV, the Federal Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds.

The good news from Germany comes a fortnight after the UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence issued final draft guidance recommending the use of Brilique in the treatment of ACS on the National Health Service.