Amgen has announced plans to reduce the price of its cholesterol drug Repatha by 60% to $5,850 per year, in an effort to improve affordability through lowering patient copays.
The company attributed the price reduction to its participation in the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Value in Healthcare Initiative, and support for the Trump Administration’s aim to lower drug prices.
Repatha is a human monoclonal antibody designed to block proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9). It is indicated to treat people having high cholesterol and at risk for heart attacks and strokes.
According to the company, approximately 75% of PCSK9 inhibitor prescriptions for Medicare patients are not filled because of high out-of-pocket costs.
Amgen chairman and CEO Robert Bradway said: “Cardiovascular disease is one of the country’s most significant health challenges, and every 40 seconds someone in America has a heart attack or stroke.
“Repatha can help to address this significant public health issue, but concerns over out-of-pocket costs have proven to be a barrier to its use for too many patients. We want to make sure that every patient who needs Repatha gets Repatha.”
Amgen said that the commonly used delivery system SureClick will be available immediately for the lower-priced Repatha. Further, the drug’s Pre-Filled Syringe and Pushtronex delivery systems will be made available over the coming months.
To ensure smooth transition to lower-priced options, Amgen intends to continue offering Repatha at its original list price for certain duration. The company expects to implement the reduced price by the end of 2020 or sooner.
In May this year, Amgen decided not to carry out its price increases planned for July, and will continue the initiative for the rest of the year.
The move was followed by Pfizer in July, when the company announced temporary reversal of its price hikes on 100 products, following Trump’s protests.