For Immediate Release Contact: Joan Fallon
May 2, 2017 firstname.lastname@example.org
Harvard Pilgrim Signs Second Groundbreaking Contract with Amgen For Repatha
HPHC and its members will receive full refund if a cardiac event occurs while on the drug
(WELLESLEY, MA) – Harvard Pilgrim Health Care has entered into a first-of-its-kind contract with Amgen for its LDL cholesterol lowering drug, Repatha, that guarantees the health plan and its members will receive a full refund of their costs for the drug if a member is hospitalized for a myocardial infarction or stroke after taking Repatha for six months or more and maintaining an appropriate level of compliance on the drug.
Repatha is one of a new class of biotechnology medicines known as PCSK9 inhibitors that have demonstrated a promising new approach for treating elevated LDL cholesterol in patients whose levels are not able to be controlled by current treatment options. The medication is designed to target a protein that prevents the body from removing artery-blocking LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream. Repatha works differently than statin drugs that prevent the liver from making cholesterol.
Given by injection every two or four weeks, Repatha is intended for patients who have an inherited disorder resulting in high levels of LDL cholesterol or have high-risk atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease conditions, such as heart attack or stroke, that have been resistant to treatment.
“Repatha has been shown to have a significant outcome on reducing cardiovascular morbidity for high risk individuals with elevated LDL cholesterol,” said Harvard Pilgrim Chief Medical Officer Michael Sherman. However, there have been concerns raised about the cost of this new drug relative to existing statin treatments. We hope to negotiate more contracts of this type, in which a pharmaceutical company truly has ‘skin in the game’ going forward. This agreement is the first we have signed in which there is a full refund of all costs related to the medication if the patient experiences a heart attack or stroke while taking it.”
"Cardiovascular disease is the largest public health concern in the world and for high-risk patients who have already had a cardiovascular event or whose genetics puts them at risk, it is important that these patients have access to an effective treatment shown to lower their elevated LDL cholesterol in addition to their current lipid lowering regimen,” said Joshua J. Ofman, M.D., MSHS, senior vice president of Global Value, Access & Policy. "Amgen’s agreement with Harvard Pilgrim demonstrates our commitment to seeking innovative approaches that help break down the barriers of access to Repatha.”
This is the second patient-focused outcomes contract Harvard Pilgrim has negotiated with Amgen for Repatha. In the fall of 2015, the health plan signed an outcomes guarantee through which Amgen provided HPHC with an enhanced discount if the reduction in LDL levels for Harvard Pilgrim members is less than what was observed during Repatha’s clinical trials. In addition, the agreement provides for additional discounts if the utilization of the drug exceeds certain levels. This enables those patients who can most benefit from the drug to receive it while continuing to encourage utilization of lower cost statins for the majority of patients.