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Outside the Box: The bigger money message behind Amgen’s decision to slash the cost of its Repatha cholesterol drug

Amgen has just announced a 60% cut in the price of its innovative anti-cholesterol medicine, Repatha. That is big news to people at risk for heart attacks and strokes, many of whom had been forgoing the treatment because of high out-of-pocket costs.

But it is also big news to anyone who cares about drug prices generally. To understand why, let’s go shopping for a car.

Let’s say you have a friend who says she knows how to get a better price from the dealer and volunteers to negotiate for you. You agree, and sure enough, she delivers. You go to the dealer, write the check and drive off.

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