Biogen cuts the price tag on its Alzheimer's drug in half

Tom Murphy
Associated Press

Biogen is slashing the price of its Alzheimer’s treatment in half months after it debuted to widespread criticism for an initial cost that could reach $56,000 annually.

The drugmaker said Monday that it will cut the wholesale acquisition cost of the drug by about 50% next month. That means the annual cost for a person of average weight will amount to $28,200.

Biogen CEO Michel Vounatsos said in a prepared statement that too many patients were not being offered the drug due to “financial considerations,” and their disease had progressed beyond the point where Aduhelm could help.

Aduhelm is the first in a line of new drugs that promise to do what no other Alzheimer’s treatment has managed: slow the progress of the fatal brain-destroying disease, rather than just managing its symptoms.

The drug received FDA approval in June, but its debut has been slowed in part by concerns over the price. Some insurers have balked at paying for the drug while medical centers across the country have said they weren't planning to use it for now.

Biogen said in October that Aduhelm had brought in only $300,000 in sales during its first full quarter on the market.

Shares of Biogen Inc., based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, rose slightly in early trading.