NOTE: MBGH's new, specialty pharmacy management program for members is exactly what employers need to make the tough decisions around how to manage the costs of the new, very expensive treatments for high cholesterol, while still getting this treatment to those that need it. Contact Cristie at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Two drugs in a new class of cholesterol-lowering treatments have now been approved by the FDA -- Praluent, made by Sanofi Regeneron and approved last month, which costs $14,600 a year, and Repatha, made by Amgen and approved last Thursday, at $14,100 a year. Typically, patients that can't tolerate statins, the most prescribed drug class for the treatment of high cholesterol at a cost of only pennies per day, are candidates for the new drugs. Like statins, the new drugs are taken for the rest of a patient's life, resulting in well over 6 figure cost of treatment.
Read this article in the New York Times to get an understanding for the dilemma patients, physicians, insurance companies, and self-insured employers are facing regarding use of these new drugs.