Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) and Sanofi (NYSE: SNY)announced to lower their price of cholesterol drug in a deal with Express Scripts Holdings Co. (NASDAQ: ESRX) for greater customer access.
The drug, Praluent, a PCSK9 inhibitor, lowers levels of LDL-cholesterol levels in patients’ blood drastically, which helps reduce heart attacks and strokes.
Regeneron and Sanofi said that the price of Praluent will be priced at around $4,500 to $8,000 per year, linked to the recommended range by the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER). The drug’s price is significantly down from its price of over $14,000 when it was approved.
The two pharmaceutical companies say that despite having wide-range coverage national, many patients struggle to have access to Praluent because of processes required by insurance companies and high costs. The two say that this agreement will make it easier to obtain and cheaper to buy the drug.
The agreements makes Praluent the exclusive PCSK9 inhibitor therapy for Express Scripts on its National Preferred Formulary beginning in July, which hurts Regeneron and Sanofi’s competitor Amgen’s Repatha drug.
Regardless, the agreement to lower the price of Praluent will hurt Amgen. Amgen lists its drug for more than $14,000 annually before discounts, which has caused many problems for insurers and patients.
The agreement will allow insurers simply to fill out one form in order to verify a patient is eligible for Praluent, making it much simpler than previously.
"This paradigm-shifting agreement is designed to break the gridlock so that Praluent is finally able to reach patients most in need," said Leonard Schleifer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Regeneron. “This agreement sets a new standard in industry and payer collaboration that we hope will serve as a model for how to make innovative medicines more accessible and affordable."
"In this new era of shared responsibility across healthcare players, this collaboration with Express Scripts is a frontrunner by making Praluent both accessible and affordable to patients who may most benefit from it." said Michelle Carnahan, Sanofi Senior Vice President, Head of North America Diabetes and Cardiovascular Business.