The CEO of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Leonard Schleifer made an interesting announcement. He said that the biotech firm is willing to lower the price on their cholesterol drug provided certain conditions are met. Currently, the drug from Regeneron is priced at nearly $14,000 a year per patient.
The challenge is simple according to Schleifer. He simply wants to coerce both doctors and patients on their side and force their payers to make access to this drug as simple as it can be made for the patients.
Recently, a long term clinical trial on Praluent, a cholesterol drug has given some good news. According to the studies the cholesterol drug can reduce adverse heart events of high intensity by a whopping factor of 24 percent and also result in fewer deaths in high risk patients.
The new recommended price range for the drug
During the study, nearly 19,000 volunteering patients were injected with either a placebo or the drug over the period of two weeks. Those who were injected with the drug were given a higher dose if their LDL cholesterol was seen at dangerous levels.
The appropriate value for Praluent was calculated through an independent review conducted by the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review. The review was based on the results of the clinical trial. The organization recommended a price range between $4,500 and $8,000 to facilitate easy access for high risk patients who will benefit from this drug. The drug is currently being sold by Regeneron and Sanofi and the recommended price is well before the price at which the drug is currently available.
Shleifer emphasized that they were willing to give away the drug at a lower price in return for a guarantee that all high risk patients have ease of access.
Schleifer had stated that many insurers refused to cover for prescriptions due to the extremely high price of the drug. This has caused doctors to become furious with insurers as patients are prevented from getting the drugs they need.
Schleifer has said that companies like his deserve to be acknowledged and rewarded for their step forward. He stated that the people who pay their bills do not deserve to be looked down but, unfortunately that is the world we happen to live in.
The news of the price decrease had Regeneron's stocks going up by a slight margin while rival companies saw a decline in their stocks earlier this week.