In an unusual bid to address prescription drug costs, Pfizer (PFE) is promising to offer warranties for its Xalkori lung cancer treatment and will refund the entire cost to any patient and health plan if the medication fails to work within the first three months.
The drug maker last June quietly began what it calls a pilot program, which runs through the end of this year, for anyone who is covered by Medicare or commercial insurance, or pays by cash. Called the Pfizer Pledge, the program has escaped notice because the company has, so far, not publicized the effort beyond describing the details on its web site.
For patients who discontinue use and document the medicine was ineffective, Pfizer may refund up to $19,144 for each month’s supply, or a total of $57,432 for three months, to cover out-of-pocket costs. These amounts reflect the current wholesale price for the drug, a Pfizer spokesman told us. Notably, the company will also refund the cost of the medicine paid by Medicare or a commercial insurer.
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