Oral drug candidates in late-stage development are now preparing to spoil the party.”
Or not … I want a pill worse than the next person, and although Cladribine isn’t my personal first choice, I was shocked to read the following press release from Merck this past April at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurologists. Cladribine, which is likely to become the first FDA-approved pill for MS, is produced by Merck.
"Cladribine is taken very infrequently when compared to many MS drugs that are taken daily. In the study, patients were given two or four treatment courses in the first year, with each course being a daily pill for four to five consecutive days. In the second year, two treatment courses were administered to all patient groups.
Despite its infrequent dosing and being a pill, rather than a biologic, Merck will likely be aggressive in pricing the drug.
"I think that pricing has to be in line with the benefits that the drug brings to the patient," Schnee said. "It doesn't differ if you have an injectable or if you have a tablet."
Biogen's Avonex, the MS market leader, is currently sold for about $30,000 a year."
I’m very excited that pills seem to be coming out of the pipeline, but I’m afraid they’re going to be just as expensive as the CRABS. For our sakes, I hope Mr. Perros is correct. Time will tell, I guess.