June 13, 2006
Tysabri price to rise 21%
The price of Biogen Idec and Elan’s recently re-approved multiple sclerosis medication Tysabri will rise approximately 21%, according to Elan’s Web site. The drug will cost $2,184.62 per vial, the Web site said. That figure would equate to $28,400 per year for the average MS patient. The prices given represent wholesale acquisition cost, meaning that patients will pay substantially less, depending on their medical coverage. The drug is scheduled to be made available again next month. An FDA panel said last week it would allow Tysabri back on the market, subject to a restricted distribution program. Before Tysabri treatment can start, patients must undergo a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Then, patients on Tysabri are to be evaluated at three and six months after the first infusion, and every six months after that, with their status being reported directly to Biogen Idec. Tysabri was initially approved by the FDA in November 2004, but was withdrawn by Biogen Idec in February 2005, after three patients in the drug's clinical trials developed PML, a serious and rare viral infection of the brain. Based on this information, FDA put clinical trials of the drug on hold in February 2005. FDA allowed a clinical trial of Tysabri to resume in February 2006, following a re-examination of the patients who had participated in the previous clinical trials, confirming that there were no additional cases of PML.