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National MS Society Responds to Price of New Biogen/Alkermes MS Medication Vumerity

November 13, 2019

New York, NY (November 13, 2019) The FDA recently approved a new medication for relapsing MS, Vumerity, by Biogen and Alkermes. Biogen, which has the license to commercialize the drug, released this statement along with announcing the price:
 
“We’ve made the decision to launch VUMERITY in the US with the lowest annual WAC price for oral MS disease-modifying therapies at an annualized price of $88,000.” 
 
The National MS Society is releasing this statement:
 
“Vumerity is an efficacious and tolerable treatment option for people with relapsing MS, but being priced only $500 lower than the least expensive oral disease modifying treatment, does not show the commitment to affordable access that we had hoped,” said Bari Talente, executive vice president, advocacy, National MS Society.
 
“We know that high wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) prices for MS disease modifying treatments put a heavy burden on people with MS. Too many are forced to take on high out-of-pocket costs, navigate through complex systems, and face varied and unpredictable decisions by public and private payers and pharmacy benefit managers.
 
“Biogen’s other oral MS product, Tecfidera, has increased in price by $40,000* since its launch in 2013. We urge Biogen to publicly commit to keeping price increases lower than the rate of inflation.”
 
* Tecfidera entered the market in March 2013 with a price of $54,750.
  • In 2016, the WAC was $73,170
  • In 2018, the WAC was $89,668
  • In 2019, the WAC is $94,991.
 

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

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