New One-Year Pharmacoeconomic Study Shows AVONEX(R) is Cost-Effective Relative to Other Interferon Therapies for Multiple Sclerosis

    CAMBRIDGE, MASS., April 13 /CNW/ - Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ:   BIIB)
announced today that one-year data presented at the Academy of Managed Care
Pharmacy's (AMCP) 2007 Annual Meeting show that AVONEX(R) (Interferon beta-1a)
is a cost-effective therapy in multiple sclerosis (MS) when compared to other
interferon beta treatments. Using a comprehensive analysis of medical and
pharmacy costs, the results of the research concluded that patients treated
with AVONEX, the most prescribed MS therapy worldwide, have the lowest total
one-year cost to a health plan when compared to other interferon beta

    Researchers analyzed 10,622 patients over one year to assess how
demographic, administrative and clinical variables affect MS costs and
utilization patterns and to examine the economic impact of treating MS. The
independent data contained in Multiple Sclerosis Benchmarks(TM)(1), the
retrospective, claims-based, observational study, showed that patients treated
with AVONEX had the lowest average one-year cost compared to patients
receiving other interferon beta treatments. It has been estimated that the
total annual economic burden of MS in the United States exceeds $6.8 billion
with a lifetime cost of $2.2 million per patient.(2)

    "MS is a disease that can have an impact beyond its debilitating effect
on patients," said Michael Pollock, Vice President, Global Health Economics,
Biogen Idec. "Cost-effectiveness is an increasingly important factor in
treating chronic diseases like MS. This study shows that in addition to its
clinical impact, AVONEX can also help to substantially reduce the cost of care
for patients living with this disease, when compared to other interferon beta

    The MS Benchmarks analysis showed the total costs over one-year to MS
patients on interferon beta therapy were: AVONEX, $19,896.15; Rebif(R)
(Interferon beta-1a) sc, $22,207.85; and Betaseron(R) (Interferon beta-1b),

    In addition, AVONEX patients were more likely to refill their
prescriptions (avg.9.6/yr vs. 8.1 and 8.2/yr for other interferon beta
therapies) and were less likely to use certain concomitant medications. Over
the one-year period, use of disease-modifying therapies (interferon beta and
glatiramer acetate) was almost always observed as monotherapy, reflecting
little evidence of combination use or switching between products.

    Additionally, according to data from the Quality Assessment of Multiple
Sclerosis Therapy (QUASIMS) study presented at the AMCP Conference, patients
do not derive additional clinical benefit from switching among interferon beta
therapies. QUASIMS, an open-label, retrospective, observational study
conducted in 14 countries, analyzed 7,156 MS patients who had received two
years of uninterrupted therapy with interferon beta as initial therapy or
follow-up therapy.

    About AVONEX

    AVONEX is the most prescribed treatment for relapsing forms of MS
worldwide, with more than 130,000 patients on therapy. It was launched in the
U.S. in 1996 and later in Europe for the treatment of relapsing forms of MS to
slow the progression of disability and reduce relapses. AVONEX is marketed
internationally in more than 90 countries. AVONEX was the first treatment
approved for patients who have their first clinical MS attack and have a brain
MRI scan consistent with MS; this use was approved in Europe in 2002 and in
the U.S. in 2003. The most common side effects associated with AVONEX multiple
sclerosis treatment are flu-like symptoms, including myalgia, fever, fatigue,
headache, chills, nausea, vomiting, pain and asthenia.

    AVONEX should be used with caution in patients with depression or other
mood disorders and in patients with seizure disorders. AVONEX should not be
used by pregnant women. Patients with cardiac disease should be closely
monitored. Patients should also be monitored for signs of hepatic injury.
Routine periodic blood chemistry and hematology tests are recommended during
treatment with AVONEX. Rare cases of anaphylaxis have been reported. Please
see complete prescribing information available at

    About Biogen Idec

    Biogen Idec creates new standards of care in therapeutic areas with high
unmet medical needs. Founded in 1978, Biogen Idec is a global leader in the
discovery, development, manufacturing, and commercialization of innovative
therapies. Patients in more than 90 countries benefit from Biogen Idec's
significant products that address diseases such as lymphoma, multiple
sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. For product labeling, press releases and
additional information about the company, please visit

    # # #

    (1) "Multiple Sclerosis Benchmarks" is a trademark of Managed Care
Measures, LLC.

    (2) Coyle PK, Hartung HP. Use of interferon beta in multiple sclerosis:
rationale for early treatment and evidence for dose-and frequency-dependent
effects on clinical response. Multiple Sclerosis. 2002: 8:2-9.

For further information:

For further information: Biogen Idec Media Contact: Amy Brockelman,
617-914-6524 Associate Director, Public Affairs or Investment Community
Contact: Eric Hoffman, 617-679-2812 Associate Director, Investor Relations

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