Biogen CEO Says $ 56,000 Per Year For Alzheimer’s Drug ‘Fair’, Promises Not To Raise Prices For At Least 4 Years

Biogen CEO Says $ 56,000 Per Year For Alzheimer’s Drug ‘Fair’, Promises Not To Raise Prices For At Least 4 Years

Biogen CEO Michel Vounatsos told CNBC on Monday that the list price of $ 56,000 per year for aducanumab, an FDA-approved Alzheimer’s disease drug, was “right.”

That being said, the Massachusetts-based biotech company has pledged not to increase the price of the drug, which is marketed as Aduhelm, for the next four years, Vounatsos said.

The price of the drug is a reflection of “two decades of no innovation” and will also allow Biogen to invest more in its pipeline of drugs for other diseases, he said in an interview with CNBC’s “Energy lunchHe added that the company works closely with the federal Medicare health insurance program as well as with private insurers.

Biogen shares climbed to 60% on Monday after the Food and Drug Administration announced that it has approved the company’s drug for disease. It is the first drug approved by US regulators to slow cognitive decline in people living with Alzheimer’s disease and the first new drug for the disease in nearly two decades.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. More than 6 million Americans live with it, according to Alzheimer’s Association estimates. By 2050, that number is expected to reach nearly 13 million, according to the group.

Biogen CEO Michel Vounatsos poses for a portrait at the company’s offices in Cambridge, MA on January 3, 2017.

John Blanding | The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The FDA’s decision was eagerly awaited. The drug is also expected to generate billions of dollars in revenue for the company and offers new hope to friends and families of patients living with the disease.

Biogen said Monday that the list price for aducanumab was $ 56,000 per year, which was higher than the price of $ 10,000 to $ 25,000 expected by some analysts. The cost to patients will depend on their health coverage.

When asked if the company expected patients to decline on price, Vounatsos noted that the disease and other forms of dementia cost the United States more than $ 600 billion a year and patients. $ 500,000 per year.

It is time to “invest” in the treatment, he added.

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