HHS Asked to Take Up March-in Request of Prostate Cancer Drug Xtandi

(Update: On December 15, 2021 KEI hosted a press briefing regarding the Xtandi march-in request. Video and details available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwqUl7NLMXo)

On November 18, 2021, Robert Sachs and Clare Love submitted a petition to the Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra asking that HHS grant march-in rights for the patents on the prostate cancer drug enzalutamide (marketed as Xtandi).

Love and Sachs have previously submitted march-in requests to the Department of Defense for the patents on Xtandi (in February 2019 and April 2021), and have not yet received a response.

The November 18th request asks HHS to take up the request. HHS is asked to grant this march-in request as the price of the drug – developed with government funding – is higher than the median price in seven large high income economies. Xtandi was invented at UCLA on grants from the U.S. Army and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is roughly 3 to 5 times more expensive in the United States than in other high income countries. The drug, which is inexpensive to manufacture, is priced in the United States at $106.865 per 40 mg pill. With a required dose of four pills per day, Xtandi costs $427.50 per day and more than $156,000 per year. The price in other high income countries generally ranges from $20 to $40 per 40mg pill. A Canadian generic manufacturer has offered to sell enzalutamide to the U.S. government for $3 per pill.

On December 13, 2021, Eric Sawyer requested to join the petition, noting that, “Prostate cancer is the opposite of a rare disease. U.S. residents should not be victims of discriminatory price gouging for this cancer drug. If anything, the drug should be cheaper in the United States than elsewhere, not more expensive, since it was invented on taxpayer funds.”

A PDF of the request is available here: Love-Sachs-HHS-Xtandi-Request-18Nov2021

More information on the previous Xtandi requests is available here: https://www.keionline.org/xtandi