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.
Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system. Currently there is no cure. Symptoms vary from person to person and may include disabling fatigue, mobility challenges, cognitive changes, and vision issues. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to minimize disability. Significant progress is being made to achieve a world free of MS.