Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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A Dick Move by Pfizer: Raises Price of Viagra & Other Drugs by as Much as 28% in One Year!

A Dick Move by Pfizer: Raises Price of Viagra & Other Drugs by as Much as 28% in One Year! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

For the second time this year, Pfizer has made substantial price hikes on some of its medicines, a move that disregards blistering criticism of the pharmaceutical industry over the cost of prescription drugs.

 

Specifically, the drug maker raised prices for 91 medicines on June 1 by between 5 percent and 13 percent, according to The Financial Times. This marks the second time this year that Pfizer boosted prices and, when factoring in price hikes made last January, the company has raised prices an average of 20 per cent this year.

 

As an example, the paper pointed to the average wholesale price of a 100 mg tablet of Viagra, which was $57.94 at the start of the year, but now costs $73.85 after two consecutive increases. As a result, the list price for the little blue pill, as it is known, has jumped 27.5 percent this year.

 

The move comes as more Americans complain about the toll that price hikes are having on their wallets and the Pfizer price hikes are certain to fuel further controversy, especially since the company refused to agree to limit annual increase to single digits. Some drug makers — Allergan (read “Allergan's Brent Saunders' Manifesto on Drug Prices & Access”; http://sco.lt/6WN0AT) and Novo Nordisk (read “Novo Nordisk President Pledges to Limit List Prices of Drugs But Cannot Guarantee Market Price”; http://sco.lt/7vRFzt) — have taken this vow and Sanofi is linking prices hikes to medical inflation, but these notion have failed to catch on in a meaningful way.

 

Instead, Pfizer chief executive Ian Read has argued that medicines should be judged on their value (read “Ian Read – Bean Counter Pfizer CEO – Won’t Commit to Keep a Lid on Drug Price Increases”; http://sco.lt/8OkYAD). But at an industry conference last year, he appeared riled when Regeneron chief executive Len Schleifer chastised drug makers for boosting prices on a regular basis, and appeared to single out price hikes that Pfizer took over a six-month period — 8.8 percent and 10.4 percent, on average — in 2016 (“Oh Snap! Regeneron CEO Says What to Pfizer CEO Ian Read???”; http://sco.lt/8ZED0T).

 

Pfizer may have hard a time explaining how the value of so many of their medicines increased over such a short period of time to justify such price hikes, especially given public anger.

 

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Ian Read, CEO of Pfizer, aka the “Donald Trump of Pharma,” Bashes Global “Freeloading” Off U.S.

Ian Read, CEO of Pfizer, aka the “Donald Trump of Pharma,” Bashes Global “Freeloading” Off U.S. | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Canada and other countries with universal health care systems are keeping drugs cheap by “freeloading” off of American innovation, says the chief executive of one of the world’s largest pharma companies.

 

“Canada is cheaper because of (drug) ration(ing). And Canada is cheaper because ... it freerides off American innovation,” Pfizer CEO Ian Read said in an appearance at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. last week.

 

Asked what he would do about it, Read suggested negotiating tougher free trade deals that would reduce the ability of governments to pay less for drugs, such as through longer patent terms.

 

“You need good trade agreements where intellectual property is protected,” he said, according to a transcript of the appearance. Read noted Pfizer did not support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) because it did not do enough to extend pharma patents.

 

Read made an argument familiar to those in the pharma industry: That developing drugs is extremely costly, and U.S. patients and insurance companies are in effect subsidizing cheaper drugs for other countries.

 

“Without the U.S. market, there would not be the tremendous expansion in the innovative therapies that are available today and will be available in the future,” he said. “Basically, you're seeing Europe freeriding on American innovation.”

 

Read cited data from Boston University showing how developing a new drug takes 10 to 15 years and costs US$2.6 billion on average (read “Tufts New Estimate of Costs to Bring a Drug to Market & Beyond”; http://sco.lt/7tlZ9F).

 

“Pfizer spends $8 billion a year on research and development,” he added. “We’re lucky if we produce three (new) drugs a year.” [Meanwhile, Pfizer’s profits are more that 2X what it spends on R&D. See the data here: http://sco.lt/5nPE93].

 

Pharma Guy's insight:

Yikes! These guys are joined at the hip!

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Ian Read – Bean Counter Pfizer CEO – Won’t Commit to Keep a Lid on Drug Price Increases

Ian Read – Bean Counter Pfizer CEO  – Won’t Commit to Keep a Lid on Drug Price Increases | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Pfizer Inc Chief Executive Ian Read said on Tuesday the company would not change its philosophy on pricing of its medicines or when it takes price increases, bucking a recent trend by some rivals of the largest U.S. drugmaker.

 

The comments, made on a conference call after Pfizer reported slightly lower than expected fourth-quarter profit, came as several of Read's industry peers met with U.S. President Donald Trump, who has insisted prescription drug prices must come down.

 

Discussions with Trump included some ideas on how that goal might be accomplished, including tax reform and undoing regulations that slow entry of new drugs and generics to the market.

 

Three large drugmakers, including U.S.-based AbbVie Inc and Allergan, have already vowed to keep 2017 price increases under 10 percent. AbbVie and Allergan also pledged to take one round of increases, rather than the common industry standard of twice-yearly price hikes.

 

"I believe we have always priced responsibly [e.g., read “Pfizer CEO Ian Read: Raise Drug Prices to Lower Costs to Consumers”; , so I don't need to make that commitment," Read said in a telephone interview.

 

"We feel we appropriately price our products to the value in the marketplace, and that's essential for free market systems where you need to recover and direct resources to further innovation," he said.

Pharma Guy's insight:

Further Reading:

 

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We're Not Murders, Says Pfizer CEO Ian Read

We're Not Murders, Says Pfizer CEO Ian Read | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Forget what you've heard about pharma in the court of public opinion lately, Pfizer CEO Ian Read says. The “ethical” industry he knows is nothing like notorious ex-CEO Martin Shkreli's work, and certainly isn't "getting away with murder" as President-elect Donald Trump claims.

“Most of the problem of reputation is coming from those that I don’t consider part of the ethical pharmaceutical business,” Read said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, calling out Mylan, former Turing Pharma CEO Shkreli and Valeant Pharmaceuticals by name.

Read argued Tuesday that a “terribly complicated and not transparent” healthcare system in the U.S. has led to the public’s distrust in pharma. Elsewhere in the world, such as in Asia or Latin America, trust in drugmakers is much higher, he pointed out.

The problem? Read figures one component is “perception.” He said the “ethical” industry does research, prices responsibly and seeks to recover its R&D costs. Not mincing his words, he said another segment of the pharma business [marketing?] doesn’t do research, and that sector has done a great deal to mar public opinion.

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Pfizer CEO Ian Read's Worn-out Argument Against Hillary Clinton's Plan to Curb Drug Prices

Pfizer CEO Ian Read's Worn-out Argument Against Hillary Clinton's Plan to Curb Drug Prices | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Pfizer Inc's chief executive on Thursday said recent proposals by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to curb "unjustified" US drug prices would dampen investment in innovative new drugs and ultimately hurt consumers.

"(They) would be very negative for innovation," Ian Read said in webcast from the annual Wells Fargo healthcare conference in Boston. He said Clinton's proposals, if ever approved, would ultimately lead to a one-payer government system of price controls on prescription medicines.

Critics of the pharmaceutical industry have long argued that drugmakers unfairly raise prices at will, making their products increasingly less accessible to patients. Drugmakers counter that it can cost $1 billion dollars or more to develop the typical drug and say they need to be reimbursed for the costs and risk-taking.

Read said he did not believe price controls like those seen in Europe would occur in the United States.

"A lot depends on the composition of the Senate and House," he added, referring to whether Republicans continue to dominate at least one branch of Congress and can be a counterweight to a potential Clinton White House.

Clinton last week said that if elected to the White House she would create an oversight panel to protect US consumers from large price hikes on long-available, lifesaving drugs and to import alternative treatments if necessary, adding to her pledges to rein in overall drug prices.

She said the oversight panel would be able to levy fines and impose penalties on manufacturers when there has been an unjustified "outlier" price increase on a long-available or generic drug, meaning an especially high increase.

Pharma Guy's insight:

It will stifle innovation, it will stifle innovation, it will stifle innovation.. how many times have we heard that tiresome, worn-out argument from pharma CEOs?

 

Also read “#Pharma CEOs Fill in the Drug Pricing Debate ‘Gaps’”; http://sco.lt/7fqvGT

 

“What’s sad is this,” Read insists. “When you look at the totality of the health care system, everybody says, ‘Oh, my God, we can’t afford what we’re spending on health care.’ But nobody looks on the other side of the ledger.”

 

“I understand the physicians saying, ‘Look, these prices are too high,’ ” Read says. But according to Read, these physicians -- to use an old Scottish phrase -- are talking' pish! “It’s because their patients can’t get access. That is an insurance issue,” says Read.

 

Read insists drug companies don’t make undue profits. He points out that, in terms of return on capital or return on assets, pharma is just average.

 

http://bit.ly/ianpish 

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An Open Letter to Mr Ian Read: Chairman & CEO @Pfizer

An Open Letter to Mr Ian Read: Chairman & CEO @Pfizer | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Anyone who sincerely cares about innovation in healthcare & the creation of true patient value will take some forbidding pleasure from the collapse of Pfizer’s proposed merger with Allergan. Mr Ian Read, Pfizer doesn’t need yet another M&A; instead, it needs nonconformity.

You’ve got all the key ingredients to succeed without another “Blockbuster M&A”


 Last year, I read your LinkedIn post, arguing why this merger will “bring greater resources to invest in productive R&D and manufacturing, deliver greater value to our shareholders, and most importantly, make more medicines available to more people around the world”. I agree with your "MBA answer" of why the merger is good, but I and others sincerely, think you're better off without it. A good read is a commentary in Nature: The impact of mergers on pharmaceutical R&D. You’ve got all the key ingredients (scientific talent & leadership, resources and entrepreneurship) to succeed without yet another “Blockbuster M&A”.

These mega M&As have essentially no long-term value to the ultimate customer, the patient!


Since 2000, Pfizer has been the most active blue-chip drug maker with a series of high profile acquisitions (Warner-Lambert, Pharmacia, Wyeth, and so forth... including the multiple unsuccessful attempted deals). There is ample precedence from these past "successful" M&A’s that this deal wouldn’t change the rate at which you’d bring new molecules to market as you suggest. These mega mergers have essentially no long-term value to the patient, key subject from some of the US presidential candidates.

...when 4/5 prescriptions written are for off-patent products, then you've got an even bigger problem than another failed deal.

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Of Rotten Apples (e.g., Pfizer & Turing) and Rotten Systems (U.S. Drug Prices)

Of Rotten Apples (e.g., Pfizer & Turing) and Rotten Systems (U.S. Drug Prices) | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

It's easy to go after bad executives like Martin Shkreli, but much harder to go after bad corporate systems.


The hypocrisy is stunning.


Martin Shkreli, the former hedge-fund manager turned pharmaceutical CEO who was arrested last week, has been described as a sociopath and worse. In reality, he's a brasher and larger version of what others in finance and in corporate suites do all the time.


Federal prosecutors are charging him with conning wealthy investors...Perhaps prosecutors went after Mr. Shkreli because they couldn't nail him for his escapades as a pharmaceutical executive, which were completely legal -- although vile.


Mr. Shkreli took over a company with the rights to a 62-year-old drug used to treat toxoplasmosis, a devastating parasitic infection that can cause brain damage in babies and people with AIDS. He then promptly raised its price from $13.50 to $750 a pill.


When the media and politicians went after him, Mr. Shkreli was defiant, saying "our shareholders expect us to make as much as money as possible." He said he wished he had raised the price even higher.


That was too much even for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Big Pharma's trade group, which complained indignantly that Mr. Shkreli's company was just an investment vehicle "masquerading" as a pharmaceutical company.


Maybe Big Pharma doesn't want to admit that most pharmaceutical companies have become investment vehicles. If they didn't deliver for their investors, they'd be taken over by "activist" investors and private-equity partners who would.


While other pharmaceutical companies don't dramatically raise their drug prices in one fell swoop, as did Mr. Shkreli, they would if they thought it would lead to fat profits. Many have been increasing their prices more than 10 percent a year -- still far faster than inflation -- on drugs used on common diseases such as cancer, high cholesterol and diabetes.


Pfizer's new [drug] to treat advanced breast cancer costs $9,850 a month. According to an analysis by the Wall Street Journal, that price isn't based on manufacturing or research costs. Instead, Pfizer set the price as high as possible without pushing doctors and insurers toward alternative drugs.

Pharma Guy's insight:

We are seeing more editorials like this one. Also read this NYT Times editorial: "Are All Pharma CEOs Martin Shkrelis?"; http://bit.ly/pharmabros Also read: "Patients Fear Spike in Price of Old Drugs"; http://nyti.ms/1U4rJtu 

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A Canadian Strikes Back Against Pfizer CEO Read Regarding Who Innovated What First

A Canadian Strikes Back Against Pfizer CEO Read Regarding Who Innovated What First | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Last week in Washington, DC, a luncheon at the National Press Club Ballroom was the scene of a unique treat, as members of the US media were on hand to sample the steak salad and crab cake sandwiches and to rake Ian Read, CEO of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, over the coals.

 

One of the “stewards of the drug industry,” Read was on hand to defend his company’s practices (price gouging, political lobbying, etc.) and to spread the gospel of good will from Big Pharma. And to take some pot shots at Canada along the way.

 

For over an hour, Read spoke of the challenges faced by pharmaceutical companies in bringing a new drug to market, insisting that research and development are costly endeavours and that without charging the high fees they do for drugs (he’d call it citizen-funded investment in medical innovation, you may have different names for it), advances in healthcare just wouldn’t happen.

 

The messaging continued through until near the end of the Q & A when the topic of international trade agreements came up. “We didn’t support [the Trump-scuppered] Trans Pacific Partnership because it was really bad for our intellectual property,” said Read. “Most of these countries, if you look at Canada, if you look at Australia, if you look at New Zealand, all highly developed countries, all free-riding on inventions in the United States” (read “Ian Read, CEO of Pfizer, aka the “Donald Trump of Pharma,” Bashes Global “Freeloading” Off U.S.”; http://sco.lt/7TRiDZ )

 

Read drove the point home by saying, “Canada is cheaper because of [drug] ration[ing]. And Canada is cheaper because it can, because it free-rides off American innovation.”

 

The claim has been made before. The idea goes that citizens in countries with universal healthcare pay less for drugs than they do in the US because the governments of Canada, New Zealand and Australia constrain drug companies from charging the full monty for their products. Thus, the poor pharma companies have to make do with less profits in the rest of the world and consequently must rifle all the more vigorously through the pockets of American citizens in order to pay for their R&D.

 

Freeloaders, Mr. Read? Freeloaders on American innovation! I’m no Einstein, but I think you might have it a little ass backwards, dude. Do you like that smart phone in your pocket, Mr. American businessman? I’d say you owe us and the folks at BlackBerry for that one. The old-fashioned telephone, too, you might remember, was made by a Canadian/Scotsman.

 

Thomas Edison may get the credit for the light bulb, Mr. Read, but he bought the patent from a couple of Canadians by the name of Woodward and Evans. More co-opting of Canadian ingenuity, the inventor of the AM radio broadcast was Reginald Fessenden, another Canadian trying to make a living down in the States.

Who invented the Java programming language? James Gosling from Calgary. Who invented both the alkaline and lithium batteries? Chemical engineer Lewis Urry from little Pontypool, Ontario. IMAX technology? A Canadian team.

 

Yes, Mr. Read, some of our inventions may seem a bit pedestrian to you big city types. The paint roller, for one, and instant mashed potatoes. Five pin bowling. But no one can say we aren’t crafty with our surroundings, to wit, the snowblower, the ski-doo, instant replay and the hockey mask.

 

Finally, allow me to step into your sandbox, Mr. Pfizer, and say one word: insulin.

 

Now, with that fully out of our systems, let us return to the broader thesis that research and development carried out by pharmaceutical companies requires proper financial investment by countries and their drug-consuming, over-a-barrel citizens.

 

“Overall, I think it’s fair to say that we’re being responsible when it comes to the pricing of our medicines,” said Read. “We’re producing great value for society and simultaneously taking large financial risks due to the uncertainty of the drug.”

 

In any given year, companies like Pfizer spend more on sales and marketing of their drugs than on research and development. From 2013, for example, Pfizer spent $6.6 billion on R&D and $11.4 billion on sales and marketing. The same year, Johnson & Johnson spent $8.2 billion on R&D and $17.5 billion on marketing.

 

That $6.6 billion spent on R&D seems a lot less impressive when stacked up against $22 billion in profit — and, consequently, the whole argument that high drug costs are necessary for innovation seems a whole lot of nonsense…

 

And yet there he was, blaming Canada and calling it “commercial blackmail” when governments (“monopoly-purchasing governments,” he says) have the audacity to set prices for his drugs. There he was chastising Canada and attacking our government’s utter gall in considering its citizens’ interests, their health and their livelihoods when deciding on drug prices. And calling us a country of innovation freeloaders, to boot!

Before pondering that some more, I think I’ll zip up the ol’ parka, jump on my snowmobile and head to the bar for a Bloody Caesar. Maybe get a butter tart, too.

Pharma Guy's insight:

You go Canada! BTW, you forgot to include Trailer Park Boys!

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Regeneron CEO Len Schleifer vs Pfizer CEO Ian Read on Drug Prices Redux

Regeneron CEO Len Schleifer vs Pfizer CEO Ian Read on Drug Prices Redux | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Len Schleifer made something of a splash at an industry conference last December. The Regeneron Pharmaceuticals chief executive chastised Pfizer chief executive Ian Read over drug prices while participating in a panel discussion (read “Oh Snap! Regeneron CEO Says What to Pfizer CEO Ian Read???”; http://sco.lt/8ZED0T).

 

Ed Silverman of Pharmalot recently spoke with him about drug pricing and the FDA, too. This is an excerpt.

 

Pharmalot: You made a point that companies shouldn’t be doing things like taking more than one price hike a year or a certain percentage. But what, if any, commitment has your company made or is willing to make?

 

Schleifer: I’m not convinced that the reason people are so angry is because there’s been a few bad actors. In fact, a few bad actors are not the problem. The problem is the public doesn’t feel like they’re getting something they can afford. It’s not a surprise that the populist movements of both Democratic and Republican parties are pointing fingers at the pharma industry as being greedy and unreasonable.

 

Pharmalot: But no one prompted you to say what you did to Ian Read. Why were you so openly vocal?

 

Schleifer: I argued with Ian for good reason. He said two things which I violently disagree with. One is that he said he prices his drugs to the value that they deliver. And I take great exception to that because I said I don’t understand how you can actually say that. Because if you really believe that, then why would the prices of some of those drugs go up 10 or 15 percent sometimes twice a year?

 

Has the value delivered gone up? I didn’t like people running around representing our industry and saying one thing and doing another.

 

Second thing is he wanted to make the argument that the percentage of GDP that drugs cost hasn’t changed very much. That may be true and may be a good thing. But I told him nobody out there is allocating a certain fraction of the GDP for the drug industry. We have to justify that fraction.

 

I’ve also taken issue with the so-called social contract. [Allergan chief executive Brent Saunders recently committed to keep price hikes for most drugs at below single-digit increases and a couple of other companies have followed suit. Read “Allergan's Brent Sauders' Manifesto on Drug Prices & Access”; http://sco.lt/6WN0AT]. They talk about no more double-digit price hikes and then they came out with 9 point something percent. That doesn’t sound to me like something like a real bargain.

 

But if you step back and understand why people have chosen price hikes. It’s fairly obvious — because they could. It’s a hell of a lot easier to generate growth by raising prices, because if you can raise prices by 10 percent, it’s a risk-free way of generating billions of dollars in revenue as opposed to actually having to discover new drugs, which is incredibly hard.

 

Pharmalot: Okay, so you’ve framed the problem, but what do you think are the solutions?

 

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Pfizer CEO Ian Read: Raise Drug Prices to Lower Costs to Consumers – Wha?

Pfizer CEO Ian Read: Raise Drug Prices to Lower Costs to Consumers – Wha? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Ian Read, chairman and chief executive officer of Pfizer Inc., gestures as he speaks during a panel session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on

 

Ian Read, chairman and chief executive officer of Pfizer Inc., gestures as he speaks during a panel session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017.

 

Pfizer CEO Ian Read has an unusual solution for problem of high drug prices.

 

"We need to pay more for medicine so we can develop more good medicine, so we can drive, through competition, lower costs," Read said Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

 

This raise-prices-so-we-can-lower-prices concept was Read's response to a question about how the drug industry should react to President-elect Donald Trump's promise to "bring down drug prices." He told Time magazine in December, "I don't like what's happened with drug prices."

 

He doubled down on those statements telling the Washington Post that lower drug costs were going to be central to his plans for lowering health-care costs in the U.S. and overhaul the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

 

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Oh Snap! Regeneron CEO Says What to Pfizer CEO Ian Read???

Oh Snap! Regeneron CEO Says What to Pfizer CEO Ian Read??? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Someone’s mad about drug price hikes. For once, it’s not Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton -- it’s the CEO of a big U.S. biotech company.

 

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. Chief Executive Officer Leonard Schleifer jumped into the drug pricing debate Thursday at a health-care conference, accusing fellow drug company executives he shared a stage with of raising prices to cover up a lack of innovation.

 

“It’s ridiculous,” Schleifer said. “I hate us also when I see all this stuff.”

 

Ian Read, who leads drugmaker giant Pfizer Inc., countered with an oft-cited statistic that drug costs as a percentage of health-care expenses haven’t changed in two decades, regardless of price increases.

 

Schleifer’s response: “You’re not entitled to a fraction of the GDP.”

 

The shouting match was a rare occurrence in an industry that’s been trying to show a united front to defend itself from attacks coming from the outside -- politicians, patients and health benefits managers. In the past 18 months, companies like Mylan NV, the maker of allergy shot EpiPen, and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. have emerged as the faces of the public’s outrage over drug costs.

 

“The real reason we’re not liked, in my opinion, is because we as an industry have used price increases to cover up the gaps in innovation. That’s just a fact," Schleifer said at the Forbes Healthcare Summit in New York.

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Ian Read, Pfizer's CEO, Not Worried About Clinton or Trump Lowering Drug Prices

Ian Read, Pfizer's CEO, Not Worried About Clinton or Trump Lowering Drug Prices | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Just this month… Pfizer's CEO, Ian Read, told attendees at a Sanford Bernstein investors conference that he doesn't see much difference between the policies of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as far as helping or harming pharma.

 

Although Hillary voiced support for giving Medicare the authority to negotiate drug prices, Trump has also supported the idea. On the other hand, both candidates have taken positions to support pharma's profiteering at the expense of U.S. consumers and taxpayers. As noted by journalist Lee Fang, when Hillary was a Senator she supported legislation that extended exclusivity for biological drugs to twelve years, "making it harder to bring cheaper generic drugs to market." Then last fall, as a candidate, she favored a contrary position that would end exclusivity after seven years.

 

"Trump’s health care policy plan," according to Fang, "includes an idea to turn Medicaid into a block grant, meaning states may shift money allocated for health care to other priorities."

 

Contrary to Hillary's shrug about donations not influencing policies, it matters who gives money to presidential candidates and it's also important to uncover the kinds of deals the candidates make with those donors in return for the contributions.

 

Is there much room to choose between Hillary and Trump when it comes to taking up the interests of the American public on drug prices? Pfizer's CEO Read has carefully examined their policies with an investor's eye and his subordinates have spoken with representatives of both campaigns at length. As noted above, he doesn't see much difference and, frankly, he doesn't really think either one offers much reason for him to worry.

 

Odd as it may appear, we agree with Mr. Read on this one.

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#Pharma CEOs Fill in the Drug Pricing Debate "Gaps"

#Pharma CEOs Fill in the Drug Pricing Debate "Gaps" | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it
Several factors are being overlooked when discussing drug pricing in the U.S., three pharma CEOs say.


The public is getting overly simple arguments in the debate about drug pricing, three pharma CEOs said Monday.


The issue first took center stage last September when Martin Shkreli, then-CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of a specialty drug from $13.50 to $750 per pill.


Eli Lilly CEO John Lechleiter said Monday the public is not getting the full picture. "Some of the noise you hear about drug pricing neglects the fact that we often must pay deep discounts in a market-based environment where we're competing in many cases against other alternative therapies, including those low-cost generics," he told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." 


In another interview, Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez said "innovation has to continue to be rewarded or we're just not going to be able to see the kind of breakthroughs that we have seen" on cancer research, specifically regarding the uses and benefits of the cancer-fighting drug Gleevec. 


"We continued to show that the drug was valuable in other indications in cancer and so we needed to be reared for that innovation and we're pricing according to that," he told CNBC's "Squawk Alley" on Monday.

Pharma Guy's insight:

The 3rd CEO is Pfizer's Ian Read who famously who suggested we look at the "other side of the ledger"; http://bit.ly/ianpish 

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Pfizer Chief Ian Read Says Allergen Merger Will Result in More U.S. Jobs - Also Offers Brooklyn Bridge for Sale

Pfizer Chief Ian Read Says Allergen Merger Will Result in More U.S. Jobs - Also Offers Brooklyn Bridge for Sale | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

In phone calls to Washington lawmakers and Obama administration officials, the chief executive of the largest drug maker in the nation had a surprising message: A deal that would allow the company to move its headquarters to Ireland was actually good for the United States.



The Scottish-born chief executive of Pfizer, Ian C. Read, told them that a merger with Allergan, the maker of Botox that is based in Dublin, would significantly cut Pfizer’s tax bill and give it more cash that it could invest in the United States and ultimately add jobs, according to people briefed on the calls.


And as Mr. Read has made clear publicly and privately, his main priority is doing well by his shareholders — and that means finding a way to compete with huge foreign rivals that enjoy much lower tax rates.


“We’ve assessed the legal, regulatory and political landscape and are moving forward with our strategy to combine these two great companies for the benefit of the patients and to bring value to shareholders,” Mr. Read said on Monday on a call with analysts. “That is our obligation.”

Pharma Guy's insight:

Writing in Nature, former Pfizer R&D executive John LaMattina noted that the company's three largest buyouts--Warner-Lambert, Pharmacia and Wyeth--resulted in sweeping research cuts and site closures, leaving more than 20,000 scientists out of work. And those who stick around were saddled with major R&D delays, LaMattina wrote, as integrating two large companies involves a painstaking review of assets that can slow development down to a crawl. Even more difficult to quantify is the effect on productivity, he wrote, as word of potential layoffs spreads fast throughout a large company and distracts workers from their projects.

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