As soon as the FDA gave Gilenya the approval nod, speculation in the MS community has been 1) when will the drug be available for patients, 2) what will it cost, 3) how many patients will switch from their current therapy to try it? We now know the answer to two of these questions.
Gilenya will be available for sale in the United States this week, according to a recent Bloomberg report. It takes time for marketing materials to be approved (which is also done by the FDA) so we might not be seeing ads for Gilenya just yet. But what better marketing is there with a new drug launch than to read a series of articles and blog posts regarding the new oral medication? It is our word-of-mouth which will prove to be the most effective marketing, I believe, that Novartis can count on right now.
The biggest concern I have heard from other patients is WHAT IS THE COST? A spokesman from Novartis informed a Bloomberg reporter that the wholesale price has been set at $4000 per month for the daily pill. My initial response, and those of other bloggers I follow, was one of outrage and astonishment. Why in the world would Novartis set a price considerably more expensive than the current self-injections?
Read this post in its entirety:
Gilenya (fingolimod), first MS oral drug, will be available in the US with financial help from Novartis