Biogen’s CEO says $ 56,000 yearly for the Alzheimer’s drug is “truthful” and guarantees to not improve the value for a minimum of four years

Michel Vounatsos, CEO of Biogen, told CNBC Monday that the list price of $ 56,000 per year for the company’s FDA-approved Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab was “fair”.

However, the Massachusetts-based biotech company has vowed not to increase the price of the drug, which will be marketed under the Aduhelm name, for the next four years, Vounatsos said.

The price of the drug reflects “two decades without innovation” and will also allow Biogen to continue investing in its pipeline of drugs for other diseases, he said in an interview with CNBC’s “Power Lunch”. He added that the company works closely with the federal health insurance program Medicare, as well as with private insurers.

Biogen’s shares rose up to 60% on Monday after the Food and Drug Administration announced it approved the company’s drug for the disease. It is the first US regulator-approved drug to slow cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s and the first new drug for the disease in nearly two decades.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that more than 6 million Americans live with it. According to the group, this number is expected to rise to almost 13 million by 2050.

The FDA’s decision was eagerly awaited. The drug is also expected to generate billions in revenue for the company as well offers new hope to friends and families of patients living with the disease.

Biogen said Monday that aducanumab’s list price is $ 56,000 a year, which was higher than the $ 10,000-25,000 price some analysts had expected. The expenses for the patient depend on their health insurance.

When asked if the company expects patient pressures to decline, Vounatsos found that the disease and other forms of dementia cost the US over $ 600 billion annually and patients $ 500,000 a year.

It is time to “invest” in treatment, he added.

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