Elan raises price of MS drug Tysabri by 21%; Annual cost per patient to rise to $28,400
By Finfacts Team
Jun 9, 2006, 12:54

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Elan's share price fell more than 70% on February 28th, 2005  when Tysabri was suspended. Elan is more dependent on the return of the multiple sclerosis drug to the market than its partner Biogen Idec
Irish drugs firm Elan plans to raise the price of its multiple sclerosis treatment Tysabri by 21 percent when the drug returns to the market next month.

The medicine will cost $2,185 a vial in the US, according to the company. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave Elan and its US partner Biogen Idec Inc. permission to re-introduce the treatment this week.

Tysabri, which is administered 13 times a year, will cost $28,400 a year per patient, up from $23,500 previously.

An estimated 2.5 million people worldwide have multiple sclerosis, a neurological disorder that erodes muscle coordination and balance, resulting in  paralysis and impaired vision in some patients.

Tysabri was withdrawn on February 28, 2005 after three people contracted progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, a disease that killed two of them.

Elan's shares are down 45 cent to 11.90 in early afternoon trading in Dublin.

In a statement, Elan said that Tysabri (natalizumab) will be available upon the completion of key activities related to the risk management plan, including finalization of educational and training materials, internal validation of systems based on final FDA requirements and training of internal personnel. As such, Elan and Biogen Idec anticipate Tysabri will be available in July. 

The wholesale acquisition cost is $2184.62 per vial. 

Elan and Biogen Idec are committed to making TYSABRI accessible to appropriate patients who may benefit from therapy. To achieve this goal, programs have been developed to assist patients who are uninsured or who require financial assistance, the statement said.

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