Author Topic: Plegridy to cost $62,036/year--same as Avonex  (Read 197 times)

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Offline agate

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Plegridy to cost $62,036/year--same as Avonex
« on: October 16, 2014, 04:02:17 pm »
Excerpted from the Boston Globe, October 4, 2014:

Biogen’s new MS drug to cost $62,036 a year
By Robert Weisman  | GLOBE STAFF   

Cambridge biotech Biogen Idec Inc. said Friday it will charge $62,036 per patient for a year’s treatment with its newly approved multiple sclerosis drug Plegridy.

The list price of Plegridy, a new type of injectable drug that treats adults with the most common form of MS, is identical to that of Biogen Idec’s original injectable, Avonex, which is still on the market.

Plegridy, a longer-lasting drug for patients with relapsing-remitting MS, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration on Aug. 15 for US sale. Biogen Idec disclosed the price Friday before releasing the drug to distributors.

“We’re pricing for the innovation,” said Biogen Idec spokeswoman Kate Niazi-Sai. “But we’re also pricing to make sure patients have access to it and the system can support it. That’s a balance, and that’s what we’re trying to do here.”

Drug pricing has become a hot button issue in an era of rising health costs.


Biogen Idec’s own pill to treat MS, called Tecfidera, costs $60,121 a year.

Plegridy, the latest addition to Biogen Idec’s portfolio of MS medicines, also has been approved by the European Commission for sale in 28 countries across the Atlantic.


Plegridy has the same active ingredient, interferon beta, as Avonex. But the company attached a polymer called polyethylene glycol, or peg, to Plegridy that increases the exposure of the drug, allowing patients to take doses less frequently. While Avonex has to be injected into the muscle once a week, Plegridy can be taken by injection every two weeks, administered under the skin with an auto-injector.

Biogen Idec hopes to transition many patients over time from Avonex and other first-generation interferons, some of which have to be injected three times a week, to the longer-lasting drug Plegridy. But the company has no plans to discontinue the sale of Avonex.

The entire article can be seen here.
MS Speaks--online for 13 years

SPMS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2007-2010.