Axumin Q&A with Jonathan Allis and Barry Scott

June 13, 2017
Molecular Imaging PET
From the June 2017 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

HCB News: What has been the response to Axumin from the PET imaging community since its FDA approval last year?
Jonathan Allis: When you introduce a new product, you hope that it has an unmet medical need and that when you tell people about it, that they won’t look at you in a really bored way. We are happy to say we’ve not had that response with Axumin – it addresses a fundamental unmet medical need and we’ve been pleasantly surprised by how rapidly the uptake has gone in the U.S.

Barry Scott: The volumes continue to grow month over month at the sites we’re producing at today.

HCB News: Is Axumin currently being reimbursed?
Jonathan Allis: When we started the company in 2014, we weren’t overly worried about technical issues or regulatory approval. We were worried it wouldn’t be paid for. If you look at the history of reimbursement for PET imaging agents, it hasn’t been pretty. It’s taken a long time to get reimbursement for certain PET agents while others are not reimbursed.

So, we were very fortunate to have the reimbursement process go smoothly for Axumin. We put together dossiers on how it works and contacted local Medicare contracting committees and presented the data and got a very positive response. We’ve had a permanent HCPCS code (A9588) since the beginning of this year, meaning it is covered by CMS for the Medicare population across the U.S., so that removes a big barrier from product adoption.

People hear about Axumin and say, ‘Yes, we need that.’ Then they say, ‘Well, is it available near me?’ And, of course, PETNET is doing a lot to turn that answer into, ’Yes.’ Then they ask, ‘Is it reimbursed?’ And the answer to that is, ’Yes’ as well.

It speaks to the utility of the product – you don’t get products that are not useful reimbursed and we’re extremely pleased that this has all gone so well.

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