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J&J’s Spravato for depression ‘should be much cheaper’

June 21, 2019 / Phil Taylor

Johnson & Johnson has priced its new Spravato nasal spray for treatment-resistant depression (TRD) too high to offer value for money, says a US cost-effectiveness body. The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) has published its final report on Spravato (esketamine) and says the drug would need to be between 25% and 52% cheaper to meet its value threshold. The spray – which was approved by the FDA in March – has a wholesale acquisition cost of $295 per 28 mg device and costs around $32,400 for a year’s treatment, says ICER. To deliver fair value that price would have to come down to between $17,700 and $25,200 per year. The watchdog reviewed the clinical evidence for the drug and agreed that it is an effective add-on therapy for people who can’t derive enough benefit from standard oral antidepressant therapy, an assessment that will be welcomed by J&J given two of the five large trials used to support the drug’s filing failed to reach t...