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UPDATE: Lilly to appeal British rejection of Alimta

February 16, 2007

Eli Lilly and Co. said today it will appeal a decision by Great Britain's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to not recommend its Alimta lung cancer drug. The Indianapolis drugmaker said it was disappointed with the decision, and that the decision would limit patient treatment.

The agency, which is influential with doctors, said Taxotere, a rival drug sold by Sanofi-Aventis SA, was more cost-effective and offered better care support, Bloomberg reported.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence pointed to studies showing that Alimta didn’t cause extend patients’ lives long enough to justify the additional cost. Alimta sales rose 32 percent last year, to nearly $612 million.

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