Today there are 27 drugs that have been approved by the FDA that have genetic companion diagnostics tied to them. Genetic-defined therapies are becoming more prevalent in many cases. Although not the case with every therapy, there is definitely a trend with drugs requiring genetic tests having a higher cost per treatment. Watch to learn more:
You have a patient who goes through therapy and they’re getting some genetic testing, and that by itself has a complexity. But then in many times, especially going into the future, which I’ll talk through in a minute here, these genetic tests then lead to some kind of a therapy. And so today there are 27 drugs that have been approved by the FDA that have genetic companion diagnostics tied to them. And that is what you can see here on the left. So, these are the 27 drugs, and what we did is we broke them out by those that are typically covered under pharmacy versus medical benefit. Being that RJ Health’s focus is primarily on the medical benefit, we’re just going to focus on that top orange box there, which represents the seven products that would typically fall under the medical benefit. Now, what’s interesting here, is each line represents the number of the actual diagnostics that are approved by the FDA, companion diagnostics. And you could see that there are 35 current FDA-approved products on the market just for these seven drugs. If I was going to show you the flipside, on the pharmacy side, that number is twice as high.
Now, the other piece is that a lot of times the genetic tests are utilized when the drugs are first approved, then it’s almost used like a gateway to get approved, then it’s used to dictate when a drug is and is not appropriate as it should be. What ends up happening is because then the therapy is for very specific population size, as would be expected, you would think that these drugs cost more money, and that is what is represented on the right side here. So, you can see for the seven products, we went ahead and calculated what would be the cost per treatment and then what would be the annual cost for each one of these therapies. We based these calculations based off a weight of 196 pounds, if you have a desire to redo the calculation on your own. As well as we just used a standard dosing frequency and translated that to an annual basis. And what you can see is that you have drugs that are relatively, I guess in comparison, inexpensive, like Erbitux, which will be around an annual cost of $21,000 for 7 cycles, up to drugs like Vectibix, which has 26 cycles on annual basis, which can cost up to $185,000. So, we can see that there is a tie there. You know, this is not always the case with every therapy, but there is definitely a trend here with drugs requiring genetic tests having a higher cost per treatment.