FDA approves Lilly pill for common advanced breast cancer

FDA-Breast Cancer Drug_609361

This April 26, 2017, photo shows the Eli Lilly and Co. corporate headquarters in Indianapolis. On Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, the Food and Drug Administration approved Eli Lilly’s Verzenio, a new medicine for treating adults with a common type of breast cancer that has spread. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

U.S. regulators have approved a new medicine for treating a common type of breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

Eli Lilly’s Verzenio (verr-ZEHN’ee-oh) was approved Thursday by the Food and Drug Administration for patients with what’s called HR-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer that has worsened after hormone therapy.

According to the FDA, about 72 percent of patients with breast cancer have this type.

The daily pill is to be used either alone, after hormone therapy and chemotherapy have stopped working, or in combination with a hormone therapy called fulvestrant.

Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly says Verzenio, which is taken until cancer resumes growing, will cost $10,948 per month. It’s offering patients financial assistance, including 12 months with a minimal copayment for those with commercial insurance.

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