If Lung Cancer Drug Fails, Takeda Will Offer Rebate

According to a recent article from Medscape, Takeda Pharmaceuticals is offering a rebate for brigatinib (Alunbrig) which is used for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer.

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)

Non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for approximately 85% of all lung cancers. Histologically, NSCLC is divided into adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and large cell carcinoma. Patients with NSCLC require a complete staging workup to evaluate the extent of disease because stage plays a major role in determining the choice of treatment.


NSCLC is often insidious, producing no symptoms until the disease is well advanced. Early recognition of symptoms may be beneficial to patient outcomes.

At initial diagnosis, 20% of patients have localized disease, 25% of patients have regional metastasis, and 55% of patients have distant spread of disease. Symptoms depend on the location of the cancer. 

The most common signs and symptoms of lung cancer include the following:

  • Cough
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up blood
  • Wheezing
  • Hoarseness
  • Recurring infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite
  • Fatigue

Metastatic signs and symptoms may include the following:

  • Bone pain
  • Spinal cord impingement
  • Neurologic problems such as headache, weakness or numbness of limbs, dizziness, and seizures


Brigatinib is used as a treatment for adults with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Takeda Pharmaceuticals partnered with Point32Health in order to make brigatinib more widely accessible to patients who may need it.

However, Takeda has agreed that if a patient taking brigatinib cannot continue on the medication for 3 or more months due to effectiveness or their tolerability, they will provide a refund to Point32Health. The list price of brigatinib is $17,000 for just a single month of treatment.

Not all cancer patients respond to treatment, so reimbursement in these situations is an area that is “prime for innovative financing approaches.”

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