Pharmaceutical company Biogen on Wednesday opened the door to adjusting the price of its new Alzheimer’s disease treatment amid an outcry over the cost.
The company said in a statement that if more people end up taking the drug than expected, it could adjust the price, which is currently set at $ 56,000 per year.
“We determined the introductory price of Aduhelm based on our belief in the impact of the treatment as well as the appropriate patient population size based on the entry criteria for our clinical trials,” said the society. “In the event that our basic assumptions about population size and adoption rate are significantly different than expected, we are prepared to work with public and private payers to adjust prices to achieve both the patient access and sustainability of the support budget. “
The drug has sparked controversy not only because of its price, but also because doubts have been expressed about its effectiveness.
The Food and Drug Administration approved it despite its advisory committee’s recommendation against approval, and three advisory committee members resigned in protest.
Biogen said it estimates that one to two million Alzheimer’s patients will meet the criteria for taking the drug, those with mild cognitive impairment.
But the company said it did not expect all of those patients to be prescribed the drug immediately, and that adoption will be “gradual over several years.”
The company did not provide details on how many more people than expected would need to take the drug to have it adjust the price, or by how much it would adjust it.
The Kaiser Family Foundation estimated that the cost of the drug to the Medicare program could be huge. If a million people took the drug, it would cost over $ 57 billion, more than Medicare Part B spends on all other drugs combined.
“It is unreasonable to ask the elderly and taxpayers to pay $ 56,000 per year for a drug whose effectiveness has not yet been proven,” said the chairman of the Senate finance committee. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee Wyden Overnight Health Care: White House Acknowledges It Will Not Meet July 4 Vaccination Target | Fauci warns of ‘localized outbreaks’ in areas with low vaccination rates | Senate Finance Leader Releases Principles To Lower Prescription Drug Prices Equilibrium – Brought To You By NextEra Energy – Flaming Shipwreck Takes Havoc On Annual Sea Turtle Migration The Senate Finance Speaker Releases Principles To Lower Prescription Drug Prices prescription drug prices PLUS (D-Ore.) Wrote on Twitter earlier this month.
Wyden is currently working on legislation to lower drug prices.
“Medicare must be able to negotiate a fair price for prescription drugs,” he added.