July 16, 2023

Why is Tagrisso So Expensive?

Tagrisso (osimertinib) is a cancer drug that targets the EGFR tyrosine kinase, blocking its activity and slowing tumor growth. This medication is used alone or with other cancer drugs to treat certain types of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that have a specific type of EGFR mutation. It's not a cure for NSCLC, but it can improve survival rates in people with this type of cancer when it's used in combination with other treatments, such as chemotherapy and surgery.

It can also help prevent the cancer from returning after other treatments have been given. It's available as a tablet that you swallow. It can be taken at home, but it should be stored away from children and light. This medication may cause serious side effects, such as headache, fever, itching, skin rash, tiredness, vomiting, and sore throat. If these happen, call your doctor right away.

If you're pregnant, you shouldn't take this medicine. It hasn't been studied in pregnant women, and it's expected to be harmful to a developing fetus. If you could become pregnant, your doctor will usually have you take a pregnancy test before you start treatment.

Tagrisso can be expensive, but it's a key product in AstraZeneca's growing oncology portfolio. The company expects the drug to hit peak sales of $3 billion a year, and its prospects got a boost this week when a rival therapy from Clovis Oncology hit a snag, with U.S. health regulators asking for more data on its effectiveness.

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