Sanofi, Regeneron cut list price of PCSK9 inhibitor Praluent by 60 percent in the US

Ref: PR Newswire;MarketWatch;Xconomy;Yahoo Finance

Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals announced Monday that the cholesterol-lowering drug Praluent (alirocumab) will be made available in the US at a new list price of $5850 per year beginning next month, a 60-percent discount from the original price of $14 600. The reduction mirrors a move unveiled by Amgen last year for its similar PCSK9 inhibitor Repatha (evolocumab).

According to Sanofi and Regeneron, the price cut, which will apply to both the 75 mg and 150 mg doses of Praluent, is expected to result in lower patient out-of-pocket costs. Last year, the companies outlined plans to offer discounts of up to 69 percent on the product in the US in exchange for insurers and pharmacy benefit managers expanding their coverage of the PCSK9 inhibitor.

In 2018, US pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts also chose Praluent as the exclusive PCSK9 inhibitor therapy on its national preferred formulary after Sanofi and Regeneron agreed to lower the net price. Express Scripts removed Repatha from its national preferred formulary, citing the lower price for Praluent, as well as results from the ODYSSEY OUTCOMES trial.

However, sales of PCSK9 inhibitors have consistently fallen below forecasts, partly because of their high price. Last year, Sanofi and Regeneron recorded $307 million in revenue from Praluent, up from $195 million in 2017.

Leonard Schleifer, CEO of Regeneron, noted that while the move in 2018 "did improve access, seniors who were prescribed Praluent were often still unable to afford it due to high co-pay costs or co-insurance at many Medicare Part D plans." Sanofi and Regeneron suggested that after the latest price cut, most Medicare Part D patients will pay between $25 and $150 per month for Praluent. "We hope that payers will do their part to help ensure savings are directly passed on to more patients, through lower out-of-pocket costs," remarked Michelle Carnahan, head of Sanofi's primary care business unit in North America.

Praluent is approved in more than 60 countries worldwide, including the US, where it is indicated for use as an adjunct to diet and maximally-tolerated statin therapy for the treatment of adults with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia or clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease who require additional lowering of LDL cholesterol.