AstraZeneca's Brilique is more cost effective at treating patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) than a generic version of Sanofi/Bristol-Myers Squibb's Plavix, despite its higher price, an analysis of data from the PLATO trial has revealed.

According to the Anglo-Swedish drug giant, health economics data from the trial showed that Brilique (ticagrelor) actually provides a cost-effective gain in quality-adjusted life year (QALY) - a crucial measure of cost-effectiveness - compared to generic clopidogrel (when used as per its European license).

Generic clopidogrel costs just 0.17 euros per day while Brilique's price tag ranges from 2.25 euros to 3.50 euros per day, a significant cost differential.

But the analysis, published by the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research’s Value in Health, found that patients treated with Brilique/aspirin compared with generic clopidogrel/aspirin for one year were actually projected to gain an extra 0.13 QALYs on average at a cost range of €2,350–€5,700 per QALY.

“What is particularly impressive about this substudy is that even at a higher price, [Brilique] was a cost effective treatment for ACS patients compared to generic clopidogrel,” noted Lars Wallentin, Director and Professor of Cardiology, Uppsala Clinical Research Center & University Hospital, Sweden.

Appraisals under way

The drug has just been granted approval for use on the National Health Service in Scotland, but all eyes will now be on its sister body the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and Germany's equivalent IQWiG, which are also carrying out separate health technology assessments, the outcomes of which are expected later this year.

Brilique is currently being reviewed for approval by the US Food and Drug Administration, which is expected to make a decision in July, and analysts have high hopes for the drug, some forecasting peak sales of $2 billion.