The $56,000 price tag is a rational response to an irrational insurance system, says a Berkeley Public Health economist in an opinion piece in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine.
Biogen priced its controversial Aduhelm (aducanumab), its controversial Alzheimer’s drug, at $56,000 a year because of a complicated web of policies that incentivize high prices, according to James Robinson, Ph.D., M.P.H.
In an opinion piece in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine, Robinson, who is a health economics professor at Berkeley Public Health, says that Aduhelm’s price is a window into the problems with drug pricing and payment in the U.S. He says the problems should be addressed by giving the Medicare the power to negotiate prices and by putting drugs through formal health technology assessments to establish their value
“The $56,000 price for aducanumab is a rational manufacturer response to an irrational insurance system,” Robinson wrote.
Robinson identifies three aspects of drug pricing and coverage that he says lead to high prices: