Biogen’s Aduhelm Sales Total $2 Million in the Second Quarter

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Pharmaceutical manufacturer Biogen reported its on thursday Controversial Alzheimer’s drug aduhelm It brought in $2 million in its first few weeks, which is the first revenue for a treatment that is expected to generate billions of dollars in a few years and strain Medicare’s budget.

The company did not disclose the number of patients who received the drug at an average annual price of $56,000. Biogen’s CEO, Michel Vounatsos, said in an earnings call that “a large portion” of the revenue came from stockpiled inventory, and that the drug’s rollout was a little slower than the company expected.

Industry analysts had expected the drug to get off to a modest start. Many insurers have yet to decide how to cover it. Application areas – memory clinics that typically see patients with cognitive problems – have been slowed by the complexity of administering the drug, which must be given as a monthly intravenous infusion.

The federal agency that administers Medicare announced earlier this month that it will launch a months-long review to determine whether the drug has been standardized across the country; This is a step that could limit which patients receive the drug. Meanwhile, the company said some Medicare Advantage plans, an alternative to traditional Medicare offered by private insurance companies, have given consent for patients to take the drug.

Biogen executives spent much of the earnings call on Thursday defending Aduhelm and the process that led to its approval.

The drug’s approval last month caused intense scrutiny, largely because there was insufficient evidence that it could help patients. Some major medical centers have decided not to offerand two congressional committees are investigating the drug’s approval and price. Critics also questioned Close collaboration between Biogen and the Food and Drug Administration until approval.

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