bristol-myers squibb

Science vs. Marketing

A Wall Street Journal article on March 13 reported that Bristol-Myers Squibb’s cancer drug Opdivo® has outperformed Merck’s similar drug, Keytrudo®, by falling back on an “old, mass-marketing approach.” Merck’s product is paired with a diagnostic test used to identify patients expressing the PD-L1 protein, in whom the drug would be the most effective. Merck’s trials only included patients expressing this protein, and the FDA approved the drug only in those who test positive for it.