Amgen cuts list price of $14K-a-year cholesterol drug nearly 60%

Pharma giant Amgen slashed the price of its injectable cholesterol medication Repatha by almost 60 percent after its rival announced a similar move earlier this year, according to CNBC.

The new price of Amgen will be $5,850 annually, down from a list price of $14,100. The goal of lowering the price is to reduce patients' co-pays, especially for Medicare beneficiaries. With the new price, patient co-pays will drop from about $370 a month to $25-$150 a month.

"We've heard from too many patients, particularly Medicare beneficiaries, that they can't afford their out-of-pocket co-pays, so we're lowering the list price of Repatha today," Amgen CEO Bob Bradway told CNBC. 

The decision was attributed to the industry shift to value-based care and to support the Trump administration's goal to lower drug prices.

Amgen's competitor Regeneron and its partner Sanofi announced they would lower the price of their competing cholesterol drug Praluent from $14,600 a year to somewhere between $4,500 and $8,000 a year.

While the drugmakers are lowering their prices, there is a key difference in their methods. Amgen is reducing the sticker price of its drug, or the wholesale acquisition cost.

Regeneron and Sanofi, however,  will pay a larger rebate to pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts, while maintaining its wholesale cost. In exchange, Express Scripts excluded Amgen's drug from its formulary.

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