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Novartis Gilenya MS Pill to Cost $48,000 a Year

Novartis AG’s multiple sclerosis pill Gilenya will cost $4,000 a month in the U.S., according to a company spokesman.

Novartis has set a wholesale price at about $48,000 annually, Eric Althoff, a spokesman for the Basel, Switzerland- based company, said by e-mail. The company has programs to help patients with the cost of the drug, he said.

Gilenya, the first multiple sclerosis pill on the U.S. market, will be more expensive than injectable competitors such as Biogen Idec Inc.’s Avonex, Merck KGaA’s Rebif and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.’s Copaxone, which cost between about $2,800 and $3,200, for a standard month’s supply, according to the Web site destinationrx.com.

“Gilenya pricing is based on the value it will deliver patients, the scientific innovation it represents and our investment in studies to support the product,” Althoff said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Gilenya on Sept. 22.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eva von Schaper in Munich at evonschaper@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at pserafino@bloomberg.net.

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