Drug for heart failure may be too expensive

Created date

September 27th, 2019
Drug for heart failure may be too expensive

Drug for heart failure may be too expensive 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart failure affects over 5.7 million Americans.

Heart failure happens when the heart cannot pump enough blood to supply oxygen to your organs and tissues. It is usually treated with medication and lifestyle changes, including reduced dietary sodium and increased physical activity. 

Effective but costly

A recent study, however, has shown that an effective medication considered to be the standard of care for significant heart failure may be too expensive for some seniors with Medicare Part D or other prescription insurance.

Researchers found that the drug, a combination of sacubitril and valsartan (brand name: Entresto®) can cost people $1,600 a year or more, even if they have a prescription coverage plan.

Such a high cost means many seniors who need the drug can’t take it, which can have serious consequences. Studies show that Entresto has been shown to reduce heart failure deaths by 20%.

The researchers hope that this study and others on the cost/benefit of pricey drugs may help change current laws that prohibit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate drug costs with pharmaceutical companies.