March 10 (Reuters) - Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc and Sanofi SA said on Saturday they would be willing to charge less for their potent cholesterol drug, Praluent, if insurers agree to lessen onerous access barriers for high-risk patients.
Since the approvals in 2015 of Praluent and a similar rival biotech drug from Amgen Inc, insurers and pharmacy benefit managers have been rejecting some 70 percent of prescriptions written, severely holding back sales and frustrating doctors and at-risk heart patients.
Regeneron and Sanofi have decided to focus on patients at highest risk of a repeat heart attack or other major cardiovascular problems likely to derive the most benefit from significant lowering of "bad" LDL cholesterol in an attempt to break the reimbursement logjam.
"We commit to working with all health plans that agree to remove access barriers for high-risk patients to offer a more cost-effective net price for Praluent," Regeneron Chief Executive Leonard Schleifer said in a statement. (Reporting by Bill Berkrot Editing by Bill Trott)