Veozah, a new treatment for hot flashes in menopausal women, was approved by the FDA in May. Unlike previous treatments, this once-daily oral pill does not rely on hormone replacement therapy, instead blocking a chemical that impacts body temperature regulation. Clinical trials have shown that Veozah significantly reduces the frequency and severity of hot flashes. However, despite these benefits, access may be a significant challenge. Veozah’s monthly list price is $550, totaling $6,600 annually. While the drug company offers patient assistance, it’s capped annually at $1,300 and unavailable to public insurance market patrons. Commercial market coverage is also presently limited, often with strict requirements.
Furthermore, while it’s too soon for a comprehensive analysis, it’s worth noting that many new drugs eventually secure a spot on the formulary; yet, their positioning, which the payers define by various factors, ultimately matters more. A cost-effectiveness analysis by ICER suggested an ideal price of around $2,000 annually—a significant difference from the current price— which might influence payers’ pricing and reimbursement decisions. Given the heterogeneity of benefits to different sub-populations, refinement of the cost-effectiveness might be considered, possibly leading to more favorable policies for specific groups of patients.
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[Source: Forbes, October 24th, 2023]