Tim Mayleben (file photo)

Es­pe­ri­on's goldilocks cho­les­terol fight­er wins FDA ap­proval — will its 'tra­di­tion­al' pric­ing ap­proach spur adop­tion?

It’s more ef­fec­tive than decades-old statins but not as good as the in­jectable PC­SK9 — the goldilocks treat­ment for cho­les­terol-low­er­ing, be­mpe­doic acid, has se­cured FDA ap­proval.

Its mak­er, Es­pe­ri­on Ther­a­peu­tics, is bet­ting that their pric­ing strat­e­gy — a planned list price of be­tween $10 to $11 a day — will help it skirt the push­back the PC­SK9 cho­les­terol fight­ers, Repatha and Pralu­ent, got from pay­ers for their high stick­er prices.

The sky-high ex­pec­ta­tions for the pair of PC­SK9 drugs that were first ap­proved in 2015 quick­ly sim­mered — and de­spite a 60% price cut, cou­pled with da­ta show­ing the ther­a­pies al­so sig­nif­i­cant­ly cut car­dio­vas­cu­lar risk, sales have not re­al­ly perked up.

Es­pe­ri­on is con­vinced that by virtue of be­ing a cheap­er oral ther­a­py, be­mpe­doic acid will hit that sweet spot in terms of adop­tion.

“We’re kind of like the old com­fort­able shoe,” Es­pe­ri­on’s chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer Mark Glick­man re­marked in an in­ter­view with End­points News ahead of the de­ci­sion date. “It’s an oral prod­uct, once-dai­ly and non­ti­trat­able — these are things that just res­onate so true with pa­tients and physi­cians and I think we’ve kind of for­got­ten about that.”

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