Massachusetts is trying an experiment where the state will pay for one of the most expensive drugs on the market, but will get its money back if it doesn’t work. Massachusetts is “blazing a trail that every other state is watching and saying, if Massachusetts can make this work, we think we can do it too,” said Matt Salo, executive director at the National Association of Medicaid Directors.
WBUR: Mass. Will Try A Radical Approach For A $2 Million Drug: Pay Only If It Works
If it works, we pay. If not, we get most — if not all — of our money back. That’s the gist of a deal the Massachusetts Medicaid program, MassHealth, has reached for one of the most expensive drugs on the market. (Bebinger, 2/7)
In other pharmaceutical news —
Stat: Sanofi Reports Positive Results On Multiple Sclerosis Drug
The French drug giant Sanofi on Thursday reported positive results in a study of its new pill to treat multiple sclerosis. The drug, which Sanofi licensed from South San Francisco-based Principia Biopharma in 2017, “significantly reduced disease activity associated with multiple sclerosis as measured by magnetic resonance imaging,” the company said in a statement. Full data on the drug, called SAR442168, are not being made available yet, but will be presented at a later medical meeting. (Herper, 2/6)
Stat: U.S. Officials Lash Out At The Dutch Government Over Pharma Patent Rights
In an unusual move, the U.S. Embassy in the Netherlands is taking the Dutch government to task for policies that would purportedly undermine patent rights held by drug makers, drawing criticism from consumer advocates who argue such declarations place pharmaceutical industry profits over patients. Late last month, the embassy issued a missive criticizing Dutch officials for plans to expand compulsory licensing and pharmaceutical compounding, which would “send a clear message” to companies that patents in the Netherlands “can be undermined or circumvented for short-term financial benefits.” (Silverman, 2/6)
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