American taxpayers are set to foot many of the invoice for Biogen ’s new remedy for Alzheimer’s illness, and traders are nervous.
The Meals and Drug Administration authorized Aduhelm earlier this month regardless of important controversy; a number of outstanding specialists have blasted regulators for permitting the sale of an ineffective drug.
These arguments didn’t persuade the FDA, however the spat raises the query over how Medicare can pay for the treatment, which carries an annual sticker value of $56,000 earlier than rebates or reductions. Traders are pricing in some doubt that Aduhelm will ever reside up its blockbuster expectations: Biogen shares have risen 30% over the previous month, however have shed practically 20% since June 10.
There are good causes for skepticism. Whereas Medicare sometimes pays for all authorized medication, a Biden administration official mentioned that the federal government “can’t afford to deal with this as enterprise as typical.” And the value of Aduhelm is merely one line merchandise in a listing of vital bills for sufferers receiving it. Others are brain-imaging assessments, infusion prices and a parade of physician visits to evaluate illness development.
What’s extra, Biogen might face competitors earlier than Wall Avenue had anticipated. Rival drugmaker Eli Lilly mentioned final week it plans to file for regulatory approval for its personal Alzheimer’s remedy; that drug might conceivably attain the market as quickly as the tip of subsequent yr. Lilly’s donanemab is just like Aduhelm however doubtlessly simpler.