CVS to adopt 'wait and see' approach on PCSK9 cholesterol meds
- CVS Health, the 2nd largest pharmacy benefits manager in the U.S., is adopting a "wait and see" approach for an expensive new class of cholesterol maintenance drugs called PCSK9 medications.
- CVS' chief medical officer has said that "all bets are off" when it comes to negotiating prices with PCSK9 makers Sanofi/Regeneron and Amgen. Sanofi's drug has been priced at nearly $15,000 per year, while conventional generic statins cost just $50 per month.
- The benefits manager says that it has yet to decide whether or not to include Sanofi/Regeneron's Praluent and Amgen's Repatha on its formulary, and will wait to see the latter drug's label (once it is approved) before making a decision.
"It's smart to wait and see what the competitor medication looks like in terms of what the FDA label is," Dr Troyen Brennan, chief medical officer at CVS, told Reuters in an interview.
CVS also emphasized that it has yet to make a decision about whether one, or both, PCSK9 drugs would eventually be included in its formulary. An approval for Amgen's Repatha is expected later this month.
Pricing concerns have been key to the PCSK9 debate. The drugs are only expected to affect a small portion of patients who have cholesterol maintenance needs.