Elderly Struggle to Get ‘Most Expensive in History’ Heart Drug - (Bloomberg via NewsPoints Desk)

  • A new analysis that hones in on 50 people prescribed Pfizer's tafamidis offers data suggesting that the heart drug's $225,000-a-year cost presents a prohibitive financial barrier to some patients, reported Bloomberg.

  • More than half of the patients got financial aid, either from Pfizer or an independent foundation.

  • Those helped by Pfizer had no out-of-pocket costs, while others paid about $1700 on average a month. Meanwhile, 14% did not get the drug at all for various reasons, including its affordability.

  • Many elderly patients do not qualify for assistance, but "have other preexisting competing financial commitments that prohibit them being able to afford the costly copayments," researchers at Oregon Health & Science University and University of Pittsburgh wrote in their report.

  • While several patients received copayment assistance though foundations, those funds "are liable to run out," the researchers wrote, and can cause "tremendous uncertainty for patients" when they run out of funds.

  • Tafamidis was approved in the US last year for transthyretin amyloidosis. Pfizer, which has previously called the drug's price appropriate, stated that all patients should have access to breakthrough therapies like tafamidis no matter their financial situation.

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