Advocates Who Backed Approval Decry Price
Aducanumab had a rocky highway to approval however had unwavering backing from the Alzheimer’s Affiliation and a minimum of one different group, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s.
The Alzheimer’s Affiliation was notably outspoken in its help, and, as reported by Medscape in March, was accused of potential battle of curiosity by Public Citizen and a number of other neurologists as a result of the affiliation had accepted a minimum of $1.4 million from Biogen and its companion Eisai since fiscal 12 months 2018.
The affiliation applauded the FDA approval however, a couple of days later, it expressed outrage over the $56,000-a-year price ticket.
“This value is solely unacceptable,” the Alzheimer’s Affiliation mentioned within the assertion. “For a lot of, this value will pose an insurmountable barrier to entry, it complicates and jeopardizes sustainable entry to this therapy, and will additional deepen problems with well being fairness. We name on Biogen to vary this value.”
UsAgainstAlzheimer’s additionally expressed considerations about entry, even earlier than it knew aducanumab’s value.
“Shockingly, Medicare doesn’t reimburse sufferers for the costly PET scans essential to find out whether or not somebody is suitable for this drug,” George Vradenburg, chairman and co-founder of the group, famous in a June 7 statement. “We intend to work with Biogen and Medicare to make entry to this drug reasonably priced for each American who wants it.”
Public Citizen’s Carome mentioned the advocates’ complaints have been onerous to fathom.
“This could not have come as a shock to anybody,” he advised Medscape. “It is primarily the ballpark determine the corporate threw out weeks in the past.”
At $56,000 per 12 months, aducanumab is “egregiously overpriced for a drug that does not work,” Carome mentioned. “If the [Alzheimer’s Association] really finds this objectionable, hopefully they will cease accepting cash from Biogen and its companion Eisai.”
One other advocacy group, Sufferers for Inexpensive Medicine, recommended the Alzheimer’s Affiliation. Its assertion “was nothing in need of brave, particularly in gentle of the Alzheimer’s Affiliation’s reliance on funding from drug companies, together with Biogen,” David Mitchell, a cancer affected person and founding father of Sufferers For Inexpensive Medicine, mentioned in a statement.
Mitchell mentioned his members “stand with the Alzheimer’s Affiliation in its denunciation of the worth set by Biogen” and referred to as for a brand new regulation that will enable Medicare to barter drug costs.
Alicia Ault is a Lutherville, Maryland-based freelance journalist whose work has appeared in publications together with Smithsonian.com, The New York Instances, and The Washington Submit. You will discover her on Twitter @aliciaault.