english.prescrire.org > Spotlight > Archives : 2020 > Annual Prescrire Drug Awards announced in Paris: 6 winning drugs, but no "Pilule d'Or"

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Annual Prescrire Drug Awards announced in Paris: 6 winning drugs, but no "Pilule d'Or"

Prescrire Drug Award The independent French medical journal Prescrire announced its Drug Awards for 2019, at its yearly awards ceremony in Paris on 30 January. Three drugs made the "Honours List" and three others were recognised as "Noteworthy", but there was no "Pilule d'Or" (Golden Pill) awarded this year.

Every month, the independent French journal Prescrire publishes systematic, independent analyses of the available evidence regarding new drugs, newly authorised indications for drugs already on the market, and new forms or new dosages of existing drugs. The goal is to single out, amidst the multitude of new products, those which deserve to be added to the list of useful therapeutic options, or ought to be used in place of other drugs. 

In 2019, for the fifth year running, none of the drugs examined represented a major therapeutic advance worthy of a "Pilule d'Or" ("Golden Pill") award. Nevertheless, six drugs received a Prescrire Award for 2019.

Three drugs were placed on the "Honours List", since they were found to constitute a clear advance for some patients compared with existing therapeutic options, albeit with limitations: 

  • HEMLIBRA° (emicizumab) Roche
    Prophylaxis of bleeding episodes in patients with haemophilia A and "factor VIII inhibitors"
  • KYMRIAH° (tisagenlecleucel) Novartis
    B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in children and young adults when other treatment options have been exhausted
  • YESCARTA° (axicabtagene ciloleucel) Kite Pharma (a Gilead company)
    Certain types of large B-cell lymphomas when other treatment options have been exhausted 

Drugs that were deemed "Noteworthy" provide a modest improvement in patient care:

  • JAKAVI° (ruxolitinib) Novartis
    Symptomatic myelofibrosis
  • KADCYLA° (trastuzumab emtansine) Roche
    HER2-positive inoperable breast cancer in women who previously received trastuzumab and a taxane
  • KEYTRUDA° (pembrolizumab) MSD
    Metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, as first-line treatment.

©Prescrire 30 January 2020

"The Prescrire Awards for 2019" Prescrire Int 2020; 29 (213): 77-81. (Pdf, free)

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Download the full review.
Pdf, free

See also:

The Prescrire Awards
for 2019