Around the nation: Amgen lowers PCSK9 drug price 60%

The price of the drug, Repatha, will go from $14,100 to $5,850 annually, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California and Texas.

  • California: Drugmaker Amgen on Wednesday announced it would lower the price of Repatha, a cholesterol medicine, by 60%, from $14,100 to $5,850 annually. Repatha is in a class of drugs called PCSK9 inhibitors that has been shown to lower LDL—"bad"—cholesterol substantially. Amgen said the move comes as part of its participation in an American Heart Association initiative focused on value and its support of the Trump administration's goal to lower drug prices. Amgen's announcement follows a move by Regeneron and its partner Sanofi to lower the annual price of their PCSK9, Prauluent, from $14,600 annually to between $4,500 and $8,000 (Tirrell, CNBC, 10/25).
  • California: Ryan Murphy, the creator of "American Horror Story," on Monday donated $10 million to Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Murphy offered the donation as a "thank you" to the hospital staff who treated his four-year-old son, Ford, for neuroblastoma. "No child is turned away at Children' Hospital," Murphy wrote in an Instagram post. "We are so honored and lucky to contribute" (Paavola, Becker's Hospital Review, 10/23).
  • Texas: Residents and health care providers in Austin have had to boil water for cooking and consumption since Monday, after floodwaters overwhelmed water treatment facilities. The Seton Healthcare Family said the boil water order has not interfered with patient care at any of its six hospitals so far. Travis County authorities expect the order to be in effect for 10 to 14 days (Meyer, Modern Healthcare, 10/23).

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Prescription drug expenditures are the fastest growing component of health care spending. And while reducing unwarranted prescribing variation is the single biggest improvement opportunity, there are several other near-term chances to reduce spending and grow revenues.

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