Advocates Who Backed Approval Decry Price
Aducanumab had a rocky street to approval however had unwavering backing from the Alzheimer’s Affiliation and at the very least one different group, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s.
The Alzheimer’s Affiliation was significantly outspoken in its assist, and, as reported by Medscape in March, was accused of potential battle of curiosity by Public Citizen and several other neurologists as a result of the affiliation had accepted at the very least $1.4 million from Biogen and its companion Eisai since fiscal yr 2018.
The affiliation applauded the FDA approval however, just a few days later, it expressed outrage over the $56,000-a-year price ticket.
“This worth is just unacceptable,” the Alzheimer’s Affiliation stated within the assertion. “For a lot of, this worth will pose an insurmountable barrier to entry, it complicates and jeopardizes sustainable entry to this therapy, and will additional deepen problems with well being fairness. We name on Biogen to alter this worth.”
UsAgainstAlzheimer’s additionally expressed issues about entry, even earlier than it knew aducanumab’s worth.
“Shockingly, Medicare doesn’t reimburse sufferers for the costly PET scans essential to find out whether or not somebody is suitable for this drug,” George Vradenburg, chairman and co-founder of the group, famous in a June 7 statement. “We intend to work with Biogen and Medicare to make entry to this drug inexpensive for each American who wants it.”
Public Citizen’s Carome stated the advocates’ complaints had been onerous to fathom.
“This could not have come as a shock to anybody,” he instructed Medscape. “It is primarily the ballpark determine the corporate threw out weeks in the past.”
At $56,000 per yr, aducanumab is “egregiously overpriced for a drug that does not work,” Carome stated. “If the [Alzheimer’s Association] really finds this objectionable, hopefully they will cease accepting cash from Biogen and its companion Eisai.”
One other advocacy group, Sufferers for Inexpensive Medicine, recommended the Alzheimer’s Affiliation. Its assertion “was nothing in need of brave, particularly in mild of the Alzheimer’s Affiliation’s reliance on funding from drug companies, together with Biogen,” David Mitchell, a cancer affected person and founding father of Sufferers For Inexpensive Medicine, stated in a statement.
Mitchell stated his members “stand with the Alzheimer’s Affiliation in its denunciation of the worth set by Biogen” and referred to as for a brand new legislation that may permit Medicare to barter drug costs.
Alicia Ault is a Lutherville, Maryland-based freelance journalist whose work has appeared in publications together with Smithsonian.com, The New York Occasions, and The Washington Put up. You’ll find her on Twitter @aliciaault.