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A new analysis of the latest type of cholesterol-lowering drugs finds that prices would have to drop by more than two-thirds — to about $4,200 a year — for the medicines to be cost effective.

The findings were made after assessing discounted prices and results of a recent clinical trial that studied cardiovascular outcomes for one of the two available medicines, which are known as PCSK9 inhibitors. One drug is sold by Amgen (AMGN), while the other is marketed jointly by Sanofi (SNY) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN). The analysis was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.


The suggested pricing analysis is only the latest to question the value of the medicines, which have been controversial since becoming available two years ago. The drugs, which were approved to treat patients who struggle to control their cholesterol with statins, have list prices slightly higher than $14,000, although they are often discounted by about 30 percent to 35 percent, according to various estimates.

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  • Ed, the best and most relevant argument for competition would be the statins. For example sales peaked at $10.8 billion for Lipitor in 2007 vs $5.2 billion for Zocor. The difference was two fold: 1) The superior Pfizer marketing machine, perhaps leading to 2) perceived better efficacy of lipitor

    Their are two complementary scenarios possible with Repatha and Praluent 1) the “win-lose” outcome with as per above, or 2) the two companies won’t throw huge marketing budgets at the products, and in such case there will literally not a dime’s worth of difference in price between them.

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