Amgen Inc.’s new cholesterol treatment Repatha will be on the list of formulary drugs at one of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit managers, the company announced Wednesday.
Express Scripts Holding Co. in St. Louis said Tuesday it will put Rapatha, as well as competitor Praluent from French drug maker Sanofi, on its national formulary list. Both drugs are a new type of cholesterol treatment called PCSK9 inhibitors, which are much more expensive than traditional statin cholesterol drugs, such as Lipitor.
Express Scripts will only pay for PCSK9 inhibitors for patients that need it. “For the large majority of the more than 70 million people with high cholesterol, statins are the clinically appropriate, tried-and-true therapy,” the company stated.
The company said it plans to cap spending on PCSK9 inhibitors to protect payers, such as insurance plans.
In its statement, Amgen said that ensuring access to Repatha for appropriate patients is a priority. “We will continue to engage constructively with other payers to enable patients to have access to Repatha,” Anthony Hooper, executive vice president of global commercial operations at Amgen, said in a statement.
Amgen shares closed up $6.83 or 4.8 percent to $148.05 on the Nasdaq.