C. Michael Valentine
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi announced that it has reduced the price of alirocumab to treat patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia or atherosclerotic CVD who require additional LDL lowering.
“In 2018, we lowered the Praluent net price for health plans that were willing to improve patient access and affordability,” Leonard S. Schleifer, MD, PhD, president and CEO of Regeneron, said in a press release from the company. “While lowering the net cost to payers did improve access, seniors who were prescribed Praluent were often unable to afford it due to high copay costs or coinsurance at many Medicare Part D plans. Offering a lower-priced Praluent will help lower seniors’ out-of-pocket costs and thereby remove another barrier to receiving this important medicine.”
The price reduction of alirocumab (Praluent, Sanofi/Regeneron), which will take into effect in early March, brings the price down to $5,850 annually, or by approximately 60%, according to the press release. Most patients who have Medicare Part D can be expected to pay between $25 and $150 a month for a savings of up to $345, which is dependent on a patient’s insurance plan.
The updated price will affect the 75-mg and 150-mg doses of alirocumab, according to the press release.
“We were encouraged to see improvements in accessibility following our collaboration with payers last year to provide more straightforward, affordable access to Praluent, but only some patients had reduced out-of-pocket costs,” Michelle Carnahan, North America head of primary care business unit for Sanofi, said in the press release. “With today’s announcement, we are looking to help bridge that gap and have now made Praluent available at a price that is approximately 60% lower. We hope that payers will do their part to help ensure savings are directly passed on to more patients through lower out-of-pocket costs.”
In a separate press release from the American College of Cardiology, C. Michael Valentine, MD, FACC, president of the ACC, said: “ACC is committed to helping physicians with access to care issues, and our goal is to make sure the highest risk patients have access to the care they need. Our updated cholesterol guideline, issued in November, underscores that drug costs should be factored in when determining the most appropriate treatment strategy for a patient, as cost can be a barrier to access. Sanofi and Regeneron’s efforts today and Amgen’s announcement last year to lower the cost of PCSK9s and increase transparency for patients is a big step toward removing barriers to access and improving heart health for many patients.” – by Darlene Dobkowski
Disclosures: Carnahan is an employee of Sanofi. Schleifer is an employee of Regeneron. Valentine is president of the ACC.