Drug News

Why Pfizer Was Prohibited From Subsidizing Its Heart Drugs

A district judge ruled that Pfizer cannot directly or indirectly pay out-of-pocket costs for Medicare patients to receive its heart drugs Vyndaqel and Vyndamax, which cost $225,000 annually.

The judge ruled in favor of HHS, saying that allowing Pfizer to run programs that reimburse patients for drugs would violate federal kickback law.

“Because the stated intent of the payments Pfizer proposes here are to increase the number of Medicare beneficiaries who purchase the drug, the court is unable to issue the declaratory judgment Pfizer seeks or to issue judgment in its favor,” Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil wrote.

The case was watched closely among drugmakers, as its ruling means they still cannot pay co-pays for patients enrolled in government-run insurance plans.

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