Additional considerations are required for the benefit-risk assessment of new drugs or indications in the setting of (neo)adjuvant cancer treatment as compared to the metastatic/advanced setting, possibly leading to different decision patterns for the (neo)adjuvant versus the metastatic and advanced setting within a health authority but also among different health authorities. We analyzed regulatory decisions at the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products Swissmedic (SMC) for all oncology indications (mostly metastatic indications) and indications in the (neo)adjuvant setting and compared these to decisions taken by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Comparing the positive and negative decisions within the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products Swissmedic (SMC) between July 2017 and Dec 2021 the approval rates were with 66.7% lower for (neo)adjuvant indications versus 88.4% in the metastatic and advanced indications. While the approval rates for metastatic and advanced New Active Substances (NAS) applications were similar at SMC as compared to the EMA and the FDA, they were lower for (neo)adjuvant applications at SMC as compared to the EMA and the FDA. The underlying reason in all cases with divergent decisions at SMC as compared to EMA and FDA was that no overall survival (OS) benefit as compared to control arm has been observed in the submitted data package. Approval and consensus decision rates at SMC in comparison to EMA and FDA were lower for (neo)adjuvant indications but not for advanced and metastastic NAS oncology indications.

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