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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. There is currently no cure for MS. Symptoms vary from person to person and range from numbness and tingling, to mobility challenges, blindness and paralysis. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.

About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

The National MS Society, founded in 1946, funds cutting-edge research, drives change through advocacy, and provides programs and services to help people affected by MS live their best lives. Connect to learn more and get involved: nationalMSsociety.org, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or 1-800-344-4867.

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© 2020 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Its Identification Number (EIN) is 13-5661935.