Payers May Balk at Newly Approved ALS Drug’s $158K Price

  • Oct 13, 2022

    The FDA on Sept. 29 approved Relyvrio (sodium phenylbutyrate/taurusodiol), making it only the third medication to treat patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). While ALS advocates and some clinicians applauded the agency’s decision, other providers have questioned the drug’s effectiveness, and some experts believe the drug is not cost-effective with its approximately $158,000 annual wholesale acquisition cost (WAC). 

    For instance, the nonprofit Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) found that Relyvrio, which was formerly known as AMX0035, would be cost-effective if it was priced at between $9,100 and $30,600 per year. And Bruce Booth, a former scientist who’s now a partner at the Atlas Venture biotechnology venture capital firm, wrote on Twitter that the $158,000 price for Relyvrio was “even more egregious than I thought!” 

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  • Tim Casey

    Tim has worked as a reporter and editor for more than 20 years. Before joining AIS Health in December 2021, he was a business reporter covering the commercial real estate industry’s capital markets for four years. He previously covered health care business issues for two medical publishing companies and high school, college and professional sports for the Sacramento Bee newspaper. Tim has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame and an M.B.A. from Georgetown University.

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