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5 Things You Should Know About the Aduhelm Price Cut

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The price cut came as CMS begins to weight whether Medicare should cover Biogen's controversial Alzheimer's disease drug.

Biogen announced on Monday that it was cutting the price of Aduhelm (aducanumab) in half, from an annual cost of $56,000 to $28,200. Here are five things you should know about the drug and the company’s decisions:

  • CMS hasn’t decided whether to cover the drug, and Medicare coverage will be crucial. A preliminary coverage decision is scheduled for January, according to the Wall Street Journal, and a final one in April after a comment period.
  • Sales of the Aduhelm have been underwhelming. The Insider reported this week that the drug has made just $3.3 million this year, a fraction of some predictions projecting $50 million. Insider quoted an analyst as saving that Aduhelm has had “potentially the worst launch ever.
  • Biogen cut the price in half but $28,200, but that is still far higher than the price suggested by the Institute of Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), a cost-effectiveness group in Boston. In a report issued this summer, ICER said that based on its effectiveness and other factors, Aduhelm should be price at between$3,000 and $8,400 per year.

Biogen said it is launching a trial of Aduhelm in May that will enroll 1,300 people with early Alzheimer’s, Stat reported last week. When the FDA approved Aduhelm in June, the agency made the approval contingent upon a confirmatory trial verifying its effectiveness.

More than a dozen prominent Alzheimer’s experts and other well-regarded healthcare professional issued a statement on Monday calling on the FDA to withdraw its approval of Aduhelm. Meanwhile, a group called the Right Care Alliance says it is planning to file a citizen’s petition with the agency to ask that Aduhelm be taken off the market.

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