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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Regeneron CEO Len Schleifer vs Allergan Chief Brent Saunders re Controversial Native American Tribe Patent Deal

Regeneron CEO Len Schleifer vs Allergan Chief Brent Saunders re Controversial Native American Tribe Patent Deal | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

One of the drug industry’s most persistent critics happens to be one of its most famous faces. And Dr. Leonard Schleifer, founder and CEO of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, didn’t disappoint in his latest performance.

 

“It’s nuts,” Schleifer said Thursday of Allergan’s controversial move to protect patents by transferring them to a Native American tribe. Brent Saunders, Allergan’s CEO, made waves and headlines alike last year with a promise to do right by society. To Schleifer, the patent deal violates Saunders’s vaunted social contract and, plainly, “makes your company look bad.”

 

The debate, which took place at Forbes’ annual health care conference, was classic Schleifer, whose schtick routinely breaks up the monotony of drug industry panels that tend to feature wealthy white men agreeing with one another before a live audience.

 

But some analysts caution that Schleifer’s tell-it-like-is persona might have a downside — that he, like Saunders, may one day find his bold words used against him.

 

Further Reading:

  • “Allergan’s Tribal Warfare to Save Multi-Billion $ Blockbuster Restasis from Death by Generics”; http://sco.lt/7spJWD
  • “Regeneron CEO Len Schleifer vs Pfizer CEO Ian Read on Drug Prices Redux”; http://sco.lt/8kHMET
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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?

 

More…

 

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"The Night Of" Creator is Sanofi/Regeneron Spokesperson for Atopic Dermatitis Awareness Campaign

"The Night Of" Creator is Sanofi/Regeneron Spokesperson for Atopic Dermatitis Awareness Campaign | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

TV writer Peter Moffat has an intimate knowledge of severe atopic dermatitis; he’s lived with it for 50 years. Moffat even wrote the condition into his hit BBC series “Criminal Justice,” which became the hit HBO miniseries “The Night Of.” Both shows feature a lawyer named Stone with noticeable atopic dermatitis on his always-sandaled feet.

 

Now, Moffat has teamed up with Regeneron, Sanofi and the National Eczema Association on an atopic dermatitis disease awareness effort called “Understand AD: A Day in the Life.” The featured “day in the life” short film is one that Moffat wrote, directed and narrated to bring the reality of eczema and atopic dermatitis into clearer view. It follows a young woman with atopic dermatitis and shows how everyday items like a sink, bleach, lotion and even a hairbrush play into her life in ways they don’t for people without the skin condition.

 

“What was great about ‘The Night Of,’ among many things, was the response of the community at large to the story of (John Turturro’s character John Stone’s) disease, which probably for the first time in American television was laid out in all its proper, full story.

 

Sanofi and Regeneron market the treatment Dupixent, approved in March as the first drug to inhibit the IL-4 and IL-13 immune system pathways, and the first new treatment in years for atopic dermatitis.

Pharma Guy's insight:

Analysts expect the drug to reach peak sales of $4 billion. Whaaa! How much does this drug cost per treatment?

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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.

Pharma Guy's insight:

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