These days, you've got to schmooze with the payers as well as the regulators. AstraZeneca knows that; it has indeed been playing up its payer-focused strategy, with recent declarations of its bid to become "the number one company in terms of payer interactions," according to top AZ dealmaker Shaun Grady.
Fair enough; after all, the drug didn't seem to work among the U.S. cohort of AZ's 19,000-patient, multi-national Phase III trial. There are all sorts of discussions ongoing as to whether it's because the U.S. patients were on higher aspirin than those in other countries. According to AZ, the French want to see additional information, including clinical data contained within the company's response to the CRL, which was submitted on Jan. 21. (In other words, too late for the French meeting).
It's tough luck for AZ, though, despite its best intentions (..."we're meeting payers' needs for value-based product differentiation by improving our ability to assess clinical and economic outcomes in real-world populations (as an example, earlier this year we announced a new outcomes study we were kicking off for Brilinta) declared an AZ spokesperson earlier this year).
Update: AZ has corrected us on a couple of technicalities: The Transparency Commission didn't actually reject Brilique, they asked for additional information, and AZ withdrew its submission. Similarly, FDA wasn't questioning the drug's efficacy in U.S. patients, it was requesting additional analyses with respect to those patients. Sorry.