Amylyx co-CEOs defend $158K price tag on new ALS drug

After Amylyx Pharmaceuticals announced the price of its recently approved amyotrophic lateral sclerosis treatment, the drugmaker's co-CEOs told Politico why it costs $158,000 for one patient's annual supply. 

"This price balances the needs of and input from the ALS community, will be supported by insurers, allows Amylyx to sustain programs to ensure that anyone who can benefit from Relyvrio can access it, and enables us to continue our mission," co-CEOs Josh Cohen and Justin Klee told Politico

Relyvrio isn't only raising eyebrows because of its cost — which is over $100,000 more than what the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review projected — but also its efficacy. Its first drug application failed to gain an FDA panel's vote in March, and with additional analyses of the phase 2 data, an advisory panel voted to recommend its approval. 

The FDA fully approved Relyvrio Sept. 29, and the company said the next day how much an annual supply would cost. Mr. Klee has previously said that if the phase 3 trial testing the ALS treatment doesn't prove it works, Amylyx will pull it from commercial sales. 

"We believe this price balances the needs of and input from the ALS community," an Amylyx spokesperson told Becker's. The $158,000 figure "does not reflect the price people living with ALS can expect to pay" because of the company's efforts with commercial payers, Medicare and Medicaid, the spokesperson added. 

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