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Posted by on Nov 11, 2010 in Cardiology, FDA, Health care, Neurology, Pharma

High Pradaxa Price Justified

High Pradaxa Price Justified

Pradaxa.jpgWhen using the standard cost-effectiveness threshold of $50,000 for each quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained, Boehringer Ingelheim can justify asking up to $13.70 per day for its 150-mg dosage of dabigatran (Pradaxa). This conclusion is based on a new cost-effectiveness study, conducted by California- and Michigan-based researchers and supported by the American Heart Association and Veterans Affairs Health Services, in which the incremental benefits of preventing stroke and avoiding warfarin/protime monitoring outweighed a steep price for the new drug and the relatively elevated risks of MI.

Much of this cost-effectiveness analysis was based on data from the massive RE-LY trial and the group of at-risk enrollees with nonvalvular a-fib who were 65 years of age or older. Cost-effectiveness data were also calculated for the 110-mg dosage of dabigatranwhich is not available in the United States. A lack of clinical data for the FDA-approved dosage of 75 mg bid (to be used in renally compromised patients) precludes any cost-effectiveness analysis for this regimen.

According to a November 1 press release from the company, the wholesale acquisition price for both FDA-approved doses of dabigatran will be $6.75 a day for 2 capsules (or $202.50 per month): a relative steal. Looks like retail shops can more than double their asking price and still claim a wash with the standard warfarin treatment and its attendant costs. If a post at Cafe Pharma can be believed, Walgreens is asking $169.99 for 60, 150-mg capsules; CVS, $277.99, and Walmart, $232.32.

RE-LY = Randomized Evaluation of Long-term Anticoagulant Therapy.

bmartin (1127 Posts)

A native East Tennessean, Barbara Martin is a formerly practicing, board-certified neurologist who received her BS (psychology, summa cum laude) and MD from Duke University before completing her postgraduate training (internship, residency, fellowship) at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She has worked in academia, private practice, medical publishing, drug market research, and continuing medical education (CME). For the last 3 years, she has worked in a freelance capacity as a medical writer, analyst, and consultant. Follow Dr. Barbara Martin on and Twitter.