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Jun 10, 2013
 |  BioCentury  |  Strategy

Pricing the MS orals

PBM Catamaran believes oral MS drugs could improve adherence; likes pricing

At least one pharmacy benefits manager says the new oral multiple sclerosis drugs are starting off on the right foot with smart pricing and the potential to improve adherence over injectable standard of care. If they want to oust injectables from the top spot on most formularies, the oral entrants will need to avoid steep price increases and produce longitudinal data proving their benefits.

Oral drugs for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) started to come online in October 2010 when Novartis AG launched Gilenya fingolimod. Aubagio teriflunomide from Sanofi's Genzyme Corp. unit came next, in August 2012, followed this April by Tecfidera dimethyl fumarate from Biogen Idec Inc.

Albert Thigpen, SVP of industry relations and pharmacy operations at Catamaran Corp., told BioCentury that, in general, the PBM considers clinical data before price when deciding where to place a drug on formulary.

"There are proven established therapies in the market today with Copaxone, Avonex and Rebif. With the orals that have been on the market - Gilenya and Aubagio and now Tecfidera - we are just starting to understand how well they work, so it is too early to say that one class...

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