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Analysts blinded by the price of the new Alzheimer’s drug

– Monday brought the big news that the FDA has approved the first new drug for Alzheimer’s in 20 years. Then came the news of its price. That would be $ 56,000 for the annual value of Aduhelm, also known as aducanumab (the out-of-pocket price of the consumer depends on his insurance). CNBC reports that this is a shoulder over the range of $ 10,000 to $ 25,000, which Wall Street analysts describe as predictive. The manufacturer Biogen asked questions about the price on Tuesday, with one analyst citing the perception of a “break”

; between the price and the words used in a press release for the drug – “responsibility, access, [and] equality in healthcare “among them. Biogen’s explanation: Alzheimer’s costs billions in the United States each year, making the price” responsible, “according to Biogen execs.

  • These contractors have pledged to freeze this price for the next four years and said Aduhelm’s revenue will allow Biogen to continue looking for other drugs. Fierce Pharma reports that these revenues could be staggering, thanks to the FDA’s decision to approve the drug for all Alzheimer’s patients, compared to a subset of them, and not to limit how long patients should take the drug. That could lead to sales of approximately $ 10 billion a year before the end of the decade.
  • But this is only the price of the drug itself, which is administered monthly through IV. Bloomberg reports that those who take it will also need expensive brain scans to check for brain swelling and there will be significant costs associated with facilitating these infusions.
  • And then the question arises whether the drug will work: With its approval, the FDA ignored warnings from independent advisers that the drug has not been shown to help slow brain-destroying disease. Like To Barron and Financial Times The report that $ 56,000 is many times more than $ 2,500 to $ 8,300 a year, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, “an influential voice on drug pricing,” in May said it would align with clinical benefits. offered by the drug. ICER stated that the price of Biogen would only be appropriate if the drug had actually managed to stop the cognitive decline.
  • To Barron notes that the price could have an unpleasant side effect for pharmaceutical companies: Most of those who would take the drug are in Medicare, and the huge financial impact it could have on Medicare may force lawmakers to finally deal with it. with the topic of price reform.
  • The Financial Times suggests that Biogen has thick skin when it comes to pricing complaints, which he reports have previously targeted his expensive drugs for multiple sclerosis and spinal muscular atrophy.

(Read more stories about Alzheimer’s disease.)

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