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Novartis’s Gilenya to Cost EU24,000 a Year in Germany

Novartis AG’s multiple sclerosis pill Gilenya will cost 1,850 euros ($2,645) for 28 days in Germany, according to a company spokesman.

Novartis has set an annual wholesale price of about 24,000 euros for the drug, Eric Althoff, a spokesman for the Basel, Switzerland-based company, said by phone. Germany is usually used as an indicator for pricing in other European countries, he said.

Gilenya, the first multiple sclerosis pill on the 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, Althoff said. The pill will be cheaper than Biogen’s Tysabri, Althoff said. Gilenya costs about $48,000 annually in the U.S.

The drug’s German pricing “is based on the more restrictive label and the general cost of therapies in Europe,” Althoff said.

The European Commission earlier this week cleared the treatment for use against the relapsing-remitting form of multiple sclerosis, as the second choice of treatment for patients with an active form of the disease who’ve used beta interferon, or as the first drug for those with a rapidly evolving form of the disease.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Gilenya on Sept. 22 as the first choice for all patients with the relapsing form of the disease.

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