AstraZeneca has unveiled its "first-ever direct-to-patient programme", which will see the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker offer its breast cancer drug Arimidex to US patients for $40 a month.
Under the scheme, patients with a valid prescription for Arimidex (anastrozole) or a generic of the aromatase inhibitor (it went off-patent in the USA in the middle of 2010) can have the branded version delivered directly to their home by pharmacy benefit management company Express Scripts. AstraZeneca says that "calls from patients seeking information on how to obtain the brand Arimidex more affordably helped spur creation of the direct-to-patient programme".
The company adds that upon further research, it felt that eligible patients could realise "significant cost savings through Arimidex Direct". However, AstraZeneca notes that "prescription insurance coverage, including Medicare and Medicaid, cannot be used for any type of reimbursement", so the scheme only applies to patients who pay out of their own pockets.
At $40 a month, the price is above the normal $10 co-payment for generic anastrozole, but well below what insured patients could pay for the branded version - the price of 30 tablets of Arimidex at drugstore.com is listed at $458.97.
Friday, February 17, 2012
AZ starts selling Arimidex direct to patients in USA