Novel Therapies Take Center Stage in Optum Rx Drug Pipeline Report

In its latest report highlighting notable drugs nearing FDA approval, UnitedHealth Group’s Optum Rx PBM singles out two therapies designated as orphan drugs and one that has been granted priority review. Experts tell AIS Health that payers deciding how to cover these drugs will undoubtedly have to weigh factors such as a high unmet need for treatment, the durability of patients’ response to the therapy, and potentially high price tags.

For example, regarding the only non-orphan drug included in the report, Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s pegcetacoplan, there are currently no other approved treatments for the condition it’s targeting, “so that will have an impact on how payers approach coverage,” says Bill Dreitlein, senior director of Pipeline & Drug Surveillance at Optum Rx.

© 2022 MMIT
Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been reporting and editing in various journalism roles for nearly a decade. Most recently, she was the senior editor of FierceHealthPayer, an e-newsletter covering the health insurance industry. A graduate of Penn State University, she previously served in editing roles at newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado.

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