• Sanjay Trivedi

Amgen sets one lower list price for its cholesterol drug

Amgen has announced that effective Dec. 31, 2019, Repatha® (evolocumab), an innovative treatment for patients with high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease proven to reduce heart attacks and strokes, will be distributed exclusively at the 60% lower list price of $5,850 per year and will no longer be available at its original list price.

"One year ago, Amgen announced a commitment to improve patient affordability, particularly for Medicare patients, in order to ensure that every patient who needs Repatha, gets Repatha. The discontinuation of the original list price option is a critical step in delivering on this commitment," said Murdo Gordon, executive vice president of Global Commercial Operations at Amgen.

Amgen introduced the lower list priced option of Repatha in October 2018 to reduce out-of-pocket costs, especially for Medicare patients. To minimize disruption in the supply chain and allow time for payers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to modify existing contracts, Amgen continued to offer the original list price option of Repatha. Through contracting, Amgen continues to offer all PBMs and health plans equivalent or better net pricing on the lower list price option of Repatha.

"We have seen significant improvements in access and affordability, but not all Medicare patients are benefitting from these improvements because some Medicare Part D plans have not transitioned to the lower list price option of Repatha. Almost half of all Medicare patients who are prescribed Repatha will have an affordable co-pay of less than $50 in 2020, but that means that the other half will still face affordability challenges that need to be addressed. We are discontinuing the original list price option so that payers and Medicare Part D health plans have clarity and can do their part: cover the lower list price option of Repatha to help every patient prescribed Repatha fill their prescription at an affordable, low fixed dollar co-pay," continued Gordon.

A recent observational study sponsored by the Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) Foundation published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes showed that patients who were unable to get their prescribed PCSK9 inhibitor experienced more cardiovascular (CV) events than patients who received their prescription. Furthermore, women, minorities and individuals with low incomes were more likely to have rejected or unfilled prescriptions.

"Heart disease is a leading public health issue in the U.S. When individuals with established heart disease and FH face obstacles to getting their prescribed lipid-lowering medications, it has devastating effects on their health.  We are pleased that Amgen is taking this additional step to remove barriers that stand in the way of patients getting the care they need," said Katherine A. Wilemon, founder and chief executive officer of the FH Foundation.

Amgen will work with payers, wholesalers and pharmacies to phase out supply of the original list price national drug codes (NDCs) through the remainder of 2019 and to return any remaining inventory of the discontinued NDCs in 2020. 




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