Brazil: Marketing GSK's Benlysta for Lupus

Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - 6:30pm

Team Aithon

Belimumab (Benlysta®), a fully human monoclonal antibody that inhibits B-lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS) developed by Human Genome Sciences and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), is the first lupus drug to gain FDA approval in 56 years. Benlysta® was approved by the FDA is March 2011 and is indicated for the treatment of active, autoantibody-positive, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in adults receiving the standard of care. Analysts anticipate blockbuster sales of the lupus biologic.

GSK’s established presence in many international markets, including emerging markets like Brazil, puts the firm in a great position to aid in the global adoption of Benlysta. The aggressive national efforts of Brazil to address public health concerns is reflected in the nation’s annual growth rate within the pharmaceuticals market, which exceeded 13% for the 2006-2010 period. The growth in Brazil’s pharmaceutical sector has provided an opportunity for multinational pharmaceutical firms to aid in Brazil’s healthcare efforts by providing access to novel therapeutics.

However, upon approval and public reimbursement of Benlysta, a major barrier to the adoption of the novel treatment will exist in impoverished rural communities: they will not have affordable means of transportation to medical centers that will provide infusions of Benlysta.

This presentation will propose a pilot model for the cost-effective transportation of impoverished Brazilians suffering from Lupus to medical centers in order to obtain Benlysta infusions. The presentation also serves to outline many of the characteristics and concerns inherent in the Brazilian healthcare system and how that relates to adoption of innovative therapeutics.     

By: Team Aithon (Mohamed Ahmed, Tavleen Batth, Chris Davidson, & Matt Wrobel)