Sanofi, Regeneron slash price of cholesterol drug for Express Scripts customers: 4 things to know

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi will lower the price of their cholesterol drug Praluent by up to $9,500 annually for Express Scripts customers. In return, Express Scripts will grant the drugmakers easier access to patients, the companies announced May 1.

Here are four things to know about the deal.

1. Praluent has a list price of more than $14,000 a year. However, Express Scripts customers will be able to receive the drug for $4,500 to $6,600 annually after discounts and rebates, Express Scripts CMO Steve Miller told Reuters.

2. The drug significantly lowers bad cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart attacks or death among heart patients.

3. Despite these clinical benefits, sales of Praluent have been limited by insurers, who reject about 70 percent of prescriptions for the drug due to its high price.

"I expect this to substantially increase the sales," Regeneron CEO Leonard Schleifer, MD, PhD, told Reuters.

4. Express Scripts will share a portion of the rebates it receives for Praluent with patients in eligible health benefit plans to lower out-of-pocket costs.

"This is a significant [price] reduction that the patients will also feel, not just the insurance companies or the employers," Dr. Schleifer told Reuters.

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