In the latest round of the cholesterol wars, Amgen (AMGN) is cutting the list price of its injectable cholesterol medicine by 60 percent from its original price tag, a move that the drug maker hopes will appease payers and lower out-of-pocket costs for many patients.
After launching Repatha at roughly $14,500, the company is now setting a wholesale price of $5,850 per year, but this remains well above the range recommended last year by a cost-effectiveness watchdog, except for a select group of high-risk patients. The price cut comes as the Trump administration leans on drug makers to hold the line on price hikes, although Amgen officials demurred when asked whether they were trying to win political brownie points.
The decision also follows three years of frustration for Amgen, as well as Sanofi (SNY) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN), which together sell Praluent. Both drugs are PCSK9 inhibitors, a new type of cholesterol medicine for treating patients who struggle to control cholesterol using statins, particularly those with an inherited disorder known as familial hypercholesterolemia.