AbbVie Receives Positive Recommendation from the Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) for the Combination VENCLEXTA® With Rituximab as a Treatment for Patients With Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

  • INESSS recommends the reimbursement of VENCLEXTA® (venetoclax) in combination with rituximab for the treatment of adult patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).i
  • Adult patients with CLL taking VENCLEXTA in combination with rituximab can stop their therapy



Montreal, QC, June 25, 2019 –AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV), a global

biopharmaceutical company, today announced that the Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) recommends that the Minister include Venclexta, in combination with rituximab, on the Lists of Medications for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), if the following conditions are met: exceptional medication and lessening of the economic burden.i VENCLEXTA in combination with rituximab is an effective treatment option that has the benefit of a finite treatment approach, meaning patients are able to stop their therapy after two years of treatment.

INESSS concludes that the evaluation of venetoclax’s efficacy and safety in combination with rituximab is

based on a good-quality study. The outcomes of that study demonstrated that venetoclax delays disease progression compared to intravenous chemotherapy. Although intravenous chemotherapy is not included on the Lists of Medications, INESSS has recognized its efficacy.i The most common adverse reactions with venetoclax in combination with rituximab were related to white blood cells. Furthermore, there is an unmet clinical need in CLL. The reimbursement of venetoclax in combination with rituximab would be beneficial in the care pathway of CLL patients. i

“The INESSS recommendation for VENCLEXTA plus rituximab is positive news for people living with CLL

in Quebec,” says Elizabeth Lye, Director of Research & Programs, Lymphoma Canada. “Receiving a diagnosis of CLL or any cancer is always shocking and overwhelming, therefore knowing that there are highly effective treatments available provides reassurance to people facing this uncertain journey.”


CLL, which is typically a slow-progressing cancer of the bone marrow and bloodii, is one of the most common types of leukemia in adults. In Canada, CLL accounts for approximately 2,465 newly diagnosed cases of leukemia each year and is responsible for more than 600 deaths a year.iii The goal of treatment is to delay progression of the disease and improve quality of life.


VENCLEXTA continues to be investigated in CLL and other hematological diseases.


VENCLEXTA is being developed by AbbVie and Roche. It is jointly commercialized by AbbVie and Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, in the U.S. and by AbbVie outside of the U.S.

Canadians prescribed VENCLEXTA will have the opportunity to be enrolled in AbbVie Care, AbbVie’s signature care program. The program is designed to provide a wide range of customized services including reimbursement and financial support, pharmacy services, lab work reminders and coordination, personalized education and ongoing disease management support throughout the treatment. For more information, please visit


About AbbVie

AbbVie is a global, research and development-driven biopharmaceutical company committed to developing innovative advanced therapies for some of the world’s most complex and critical conditions. The company’s mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to markedly improve treatments across four primary therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, virology and neuroscience. In more than 75 countries, AbbVie employees are working every day to advance health solutions for people around the world. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at and Follow @abbvieCanada and @abbvie on Twitter or view careers on our Facebook or LinkedIn page.




Media Inquiries:

Muriel Haraoui 514.717.3764



i Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS). Avis à la Ministre. Accessed June 2019.

ii Lymphoma Canada. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Available at lymphoma/cll. Accessed June 2019.

iii Canadian Cancer Statistics. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia statistics. type/leukemia-chronic-lymphocytic-cll/statistics/?region=on. Accessed June 2019.

iv VENCLEXTA product monograph, AbbVie Corporation. Date of Preparation: September 27, 2016. Date of Revision: February 12, 2019. Accessed June 2019.