Academics who created heart failure drug criticize Pfizer over high price

A new drug with the potential to help heart-failure patients comes with a staggering cost––$651 a day, or $225,000 a year. The sky-high price tag has caused some researchers associated with developing the drug to speak out, Bloomberg reported.

Drug manufacturer Pfizer sells the drug, tafamidis, and is pricing it at a cost comparable to curative treatments and medications for rarer diseases than heart failure, according to four doctors who were involved in clinical trials of tafamadis and spoke with Bloomberg.

The doctors collectively argued the drug is being given to more people than originally thought and is a medication that patients take for years. Pfizer justifies the price due to the small number of patients expected to take it. The drugmaker also stated it may lower the price in the future.

While criticisms of high drug prices are common, it is less common to hear outcries from academics “who helped lead development of a therapy to turn into antagonists of the same company that funded the research.” One of the those researchers, Mathew Maurer, a doctor and professor at Columbia University Irving Medical Center who worked closely with Pfizer to develop the drug, told Pfizer a most reasonable cost of the drug was $25,000 a year.

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