According to an analysis issued by an independent organization, cholesterol drugs seem far too costly. The analysis was released on Tuesday.
It seems the drugs’ value should be lower by 15 percent of their list price. The report comes from the Institute for Clinical and Economical Review.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the two drugs as of lately. The first one is from Amgen, called Repatha, whereas the second is from Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, and is called Praluent.
These are injectable cholesterol fighters. Their class is known as PCSK9 inhibitors, whereas in clinical trials they lower the cholesterol level by approximately 55-60 percent. More studies need to be conducted in order to determine whether they actually reduce heart attack risks.
Moreover, Americans have to pay $14,100 a year for Repatha, whereas Praluent costs $14,600 a year. Millions of Americans might use them year after year, that is why concerns have been raised about their costs.
The founder and president of ICER, Dr. Steven Pearson, stated that
“insurers and patients would need to spend on average more than $20 billion a year.”
Furthermore, it’s been estimated that the drugs ought to cost in between $3,615 and $4,811 a year, according to their value. Their value revolves around how they prevent deaths and heart attacks.
The analysis showed that they actually ought to cost $2,177, so that health care budgets wouldn’t be strained.
ICER’s report will be the one to assess the cost-effectiveness of the drugs, however, different conclusions might be reached. The report will be open to debate on October 27th, during a meeting in Boston.
On the whole, Amgen disagreed with ICER’s conclusions, as formal peer review was not issued. A spokesperson for Regeneron also commented on the issue, saying
“these calculations are complex, and a robust and open peer-review process is essential.”
It seems the drugs’ effectiveness in preventing strokes, deaths or heart attacks is unknown. If they do prevent these health-related problems, everyone wants to know by how much.
However, ICER did estimate that the mortality rate might be reduced by approximately 50 percent via the use of these drugs.
Chief medical officer of CVS Health, a pharmacy benefit manager, Dr. Troyen Brennan, finally pointed out about ICER’s conclusions that they
“were basically right in line with our view of the medications — that they have some value, but at their current prices they are way overpriced.”
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