San Fernando Valley Business Journal

Preview: Insurers Balk at Amgen's Price

By Stephanie Henkel Friday, March 31, 2017

In a tale of two studies, health researchers report that Amgen Inc.’s cholesterol medication Repatha reduces the risk of heart disease, while another study finds that insurers balk at paying the steep price for the first-in-its-class drug.

Thousand Oaks-based Amgen’s Repatha is one of a new class of pharmaceuticals called PCSK9 inhibitors that work by reducing LDL or “bad” cholesterol by binding to the PCSK9 protein, which is responsible for regulating the liver receptor that clears cholesterol. Since hitting the market in August 2015, Repatha’s adoption rate has been off to a slow start as insurers are reluctant to pay the lifelong medication’s $14,500 annual price tag and physicians are hesitant to prescribe a pioneering drug lacking long-term data.

Read the full story in the April 3 issue of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.