AstraZeneca says its lung cancer drug still waiting for approval - (The Irish Times via NewsPoints Desk)

  • AstraZeneca said it remains in discussions with the Health Service Executive (HSE) regarding approval of its lung cancer therapy Tagrisso for reimbursement, The Irish Times reported.

  • The company indicated that it was "hopeful of reaching a positive conclusion for Irish patients in the coming weeks."

  • AstraZeneca provided the update in response to comments from Irish lawmaker Marc MacSharry, who noted that Tagrisso was available to "almost every patient in the EU" excluding Ireland.

  • AstraZeneca submitted the treatment for coverage in February 2016, while Ireland's National Centre for Pharacoeconomics concluded last year that the drug offered very low probability of cost-effectiveness.

  • "Considering that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Ireland and the incidence of lung cancer is only expected to increase in the coming years, the government should be prioritising access to the latest lung cancer therapies rather than allowing an outdated reimbursement system to deny access to Irish patients," MacSharry argued.

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