The National Forum issued the following statement in response to Sanofi and Regeneron’s announcement that they cut the list price of their LDL (“bad”) cholesterol-lowering treatment, Praluent, to $5,850 annually, a 60 percent reduction from the original list price. Amgen announced a similar price reduction in October 2018 on Repatha. Both Praluent and Repatha are PCSK9 inhibitors, a new class of drugs that lower LDL cholesterol in people for whom other treatments are not sufficient.
Leaders representing patients, providers, payers, purchasers, public health and pharma/biotech have joined forces through the National Forum Value & Access Initiative to enhance health and well-being by supporting people’s access to evidence-based care that is appropriate for them. The foremost strategy recommended by this group is to support the implementation of evidence-based care that aligns incentives for all stakeholders.
The price change announced by Sanofi and Regeneron appears to support the Value & Access Steering Committee’s consensus strategy to align incentives. Patients, providers, public health and those who pay the bills for healthcare could benefit from this price reduction if it leads to easier access to the drug for appropriate patients.
Over 39 million Americans who have high LDL cholesterol that puts them at high risk of a heart attack or stroke are not taking medications to control their cholesterol. Most could be successfully treated with a statin. However, some patients have been shown to need a PCSK9 inhibitor, such as Praluent and Repatha.
There are multiple stakeholders whose decisions and actions affect patients’ access and out-of-pocket costs for drug therapy, such as manufacturers, health plans, pharmacy benefit managers, and healthcare providers. The National Forum and its members hope the recent price reductions for Praluent and Repatha will result in improved access and affordability for appropriate patients, as indicated by the 2018 ACC/AHA Multisociety Cholesterol Treatment Guidelines.
 Million Hearts: Cholesterol Management, accessed 3/7/19 at https://millionhearts.hhs.gov/tools-protocols/tools/cholesterol-management.html