Biogen Idec, Inc. (Massachusetts) Prices New MS Pill Below Rival Meds

Biogen Idec Inc said on Friday it will charge $54,900 a year for its multiple sclerosis drug, Tecfidera, which received U.S. approval on Wednesday. The company has priced the drug at a discount to key competitors such as Novartis AG's MS pill Gilenya, which costs roughly $60,000 a year, in a bid to maximize its market share. "We think this represents solid value to the MS community and demonstrates our commitment to patient access," said Kate Niazi-Sai, a Biogen spokeswoman. The price is somewhat higher than the low $50,000-range expected by fund managers polled by Mark Schoenebaum, an analyst at ISI Group, but largely in line with analysts' expectations.

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