PHARMACY

Sanofi, Regeneron lower prices for Praluent

BY Sandra Levy

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi today announced that Praluent (alirocumab) will be available at a new reduced price of $5,850 annually. This is a 60% reduction from the original price, for both the 75-mg and 150-mg doses.

Praluent is a PCSK9 inhibitor, a class of injectable drugs approved in 2015. It is approved for use as an adjunct to diet and maximally-tolerated statin therapy for the treatment of adults with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia or clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease who require additional lowering of LDL-C.

The new lower-priced Praluent is expected to result in lower patient out-of-pocket costs.

This follows an earlier announcement in March 2018, when Regeneron and Sanofi committed to lower the U.S. net price for payers in return for helping to reduce burdensome access barriers for appropriate patients.

“In 2018, we lowered the Praluent net price for health plans that were willing to improve patient access and affordability. While lowering the net cost to payers did improve access, seniors who were prescribed Praluent were often still unable to afford it due to high co-pay costs or co-insurance at many Medicare Part D plans,” Regeneron president and CEO Leonard Schleifer said.”Offering a lower-priced Praluent will help lower seniors’ out-of-pocket costs and thereby remove another barrier to receiving this important medicine.”

With the new lower-priced Praluent, most Medicare Part D patients are expected to pay between $25 to $150 per month, a potential savings of up to $345, depending on their insurance plan. Eligible commercial patients will continue to have access to copay assistance through MyPraluent.

The company said that for illustrative purposes, this calculation of monthly savings (e.g., 2 Praluent doses) assumes a scenario where Praluent is on a specialty tier with 33% co-insurance and Praluent then moves to preferred brand tier co-pay of $25. Individual savings will vary according to plan.

“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,” Sanofi North America head of primary care business unit Michelle Carnahan said. “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.”

The new, lower-priced Praluent is expected to be available for pharmacies to order in early March, and the doses with the original list price will remain on the market at least through 2019.

Sanofi and Rgeneron aren’t the only PCSK9 inhibitor makers looking to make their drug more affordable. Amgen’s announced in January that all Repatha (evolocumab) device options are available at a 60% reduced list price of $5,850 per year.

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