Keytruda Brings New Option To Treatment of PD-L1+ TNBC

The FDA has approved only a few drugs to treat triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), and last month saw Merck & Co., Inc’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) gain accelerated approval for the condition. Commercial payers have indicated a willingness to cover it at parity with Roche Group member Genentech USA, Inc.’s Tecentriq (atezolizumab), as well as preferring Keytruda over Tecentriq, but providers are a bit more uncertain about how they will prescribe the newly approved therapy. The condition, though, remains largely unmanaged by payers, a source tells AIS Health.

Some breast cancers test positive for estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors or overexpression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), but people with TNBC do not have these proteins, which limits their treatment options, according to the American Cancer Society. It also is a fairly aggressive cancer and recurs more often than other breast cancers.

Angela Maas

Angela has an extensive background of editing, reporting and writing for trade and consumer publications. She has written Radar on Specialty Pharmacy (formerly called Specialty Pharmacy News) since she joined AIS Health in 2005 and has broad knowledge of the various issues at play within the space. Before joining AIS Health, she was managing editor at Employee Benefit News and Employee Benefit News Canada and managing editor at HemAware (a hemophilia publication), Lupus Living and Momentum (a multiple sclerosis publication). She has a B.A. in English and an M.A. in British literature from Arizona State University.

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