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“Drug companies, meet reality,” said Erik Gordon, an analyst and professor at University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. “There isn’t enough money to pay $100,000 for therapies that don’t show massive benefits, unless there is a politically powerful patient advocacy group behind it.”

Analyst Krishnan said she wasn’t sure if patient and doctor protests would ultimately convince NICE to recommend Yervoy, but acknowledged it was a possibility. “They are in a very difficult position,” she said. “They are increasingly just looking at the cost, but the pressure from the public can be very powerful.”


AP Business Writer Linda A. Johnson in Trenton, New Jersey, contributed to this report.