Monday, August 16, 1993
The first two biotech drugs to price in the new health care environment apparently will be Berlex/Chiron's Betaseron beta interferon and Genentech Inc.'s Pulmozyme DNase. The reception those pricing decisions receive will give others in the industry a strong indication of what to expect when they price their own products.
Berlex Laboratories last week said that the annual cost of Betaseron, which has been approved for remitting/relapsing multiple sclerosis, will be in the $8,500-$10,000 range.
The $10,000 figure will reflect patients paying full price for the drug, while support programs will lower the average price to about $8,500, said Jeffrey Latts, vice president of clinical research and development at Berlex. The company plans a formal mailing with price per vial information to neurologists and pharmacists this week, Latts said.
The decision puts the drug's price at the top of Berlex's stated range of $5,000-$10,000, and it elicited an immediate response from Sen. David Pryor, D-Ark., chairman of the Special Committee on Aging, and Sen. William Cohen, R-Maine, ranking minority member of the panel.