Biogen says it may adjust Aduhelm price if more patients take it than expected

Biogen may adjust the price of Aduhelm if more people end up taking the drug than it expects, the company said in a June 23 news release. 

The announcement comes amid an outcry over the cost, which is set at $56,000 per year. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., tweeted June 8: "It's unconscionable to ask seniors and taxpayers to pay $56,00 a year for a drug that has yet to be proven effective."

In its statement, Biogen said it determined the launch price of its Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm based on its belief in "the impact of treatment as well as the size of the appropriate patient population based on the entry criteria of our clinical trials." 

"In the event that our fundamental assumptions on population size and rate of adoption are significantly different than expected, we stand ready to work with public and private payers to address pricing in order to achieve both patient access and support budget sustainability," the company said. 

Biogen said it estimates 1 million to 2 million Alzheimer's patients will fit the criteria for the drug, but it doesn't expect all those patients to be prescribed the drug immediately. Uptake will be "gradual over a number of years," the drugmaker stated.

The company didn't specify how many more people would need to take the drug for the company to adjust the price, or by how much it would adjust it. 

Biogen said it believes 40 percent of patients taking the drug will have out-of-pocket expenses of $200 or less per year and that 50 percent will have a cap on out-of-pocket expenses, either because they're covered through a Medicare Advantage plan with an out-of-pocket cap or because they have a form of secondary coverage. 

The drugmaker also restated that it doesn't plan to raise Aduhelm's price for the first four years after its launch. 

Read the full statement here

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