(Reuters) – British healthcare expenses agency proposes Tuesday against nasal Johnson & Johnson spray for depression, Spravato, in the country’s healthcare network, citing uncertainties about its clinical effectiveness and costs.
PHOTO FILE: The Johnson & Johnson logo is shown on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, USA, 29 May, 2019. REUTERS / Brendan McDermid
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which decides whether a drug is included in the British National Healthcare System (NHS), said there was a lack of evidence about how successful a treatment, called esketamine was that chemical, competitors, and could raise costs.
In the draft directive, NICE also queried the effects of stopping treatment, stating that it was unclear whether any improvements would be maintained after the course, which would increase costs.
“The introduction of esketamine into clinical practice in the NSS will be complex as the structure and delivery of services would have to be changed,” said Meindert Boysen, director of the health technology evaluation center at NICE.
Currently, NHS manages treatment-treated depression with oral medication, followed by a second drug unless symptoms improve. Sometimes the health service combines state-based drugs with psychological therapy.
Esketamine has been approved as combination therapy for adults with a severe depression disorder who have not previously had treatment.
It is a mirror image chemically of the anesthetic ketamine that is often misused under the street name “Special K”, and so requires it to be brought under the supervision of a healthcare professional in a clinic.
“The estimates of the costs of providing the clinical service for esketamine were very uncertain, as were the costs of recycling the drug,” said Boysen.
In the United States, the spraying here is priced at $ 590 from a dose of 56 mg and $ 885 on 84 mg.
Last year Esketamine received approvals from European and US regulators, marking a new type of antidepressants in over 30 years and raising hope for its activity quickly enough to treat patients who had failed in advance.
Reporting at Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Edited by Shinjini Ganguli