Drug Pricing Need Not Be This Hard

Mylan’s EpiPen continues making news, prompting patients to compare drug prices. They look at the prices in Canada, our closest neighbor, and they wonder why the prices here are two to three times higher for the same product. It is both dramatic and unsettling.  The pharmaceutical industry answer is “it’s complicated.” Yes, it is complicated.  For example, we’ve heard the argument about how Canada is single payer system and the…

Mylan’s Ethical Meltdown

It has been quite a month for Mylan beginning with its first ethical lapse when it raised the price of the EpiPen by $500 from its 2008 price.  Facing a tidal wave of criticism, Mylan, a week later, pivoted and announced the launch of a generic EpiPen at one-half the price of the branded product, but still three times the 2008 price. Mylan now finds itself alone in a hostile wilderness…

Pharma Pricing & One Bold CEO

It did not take long.  In the midst of the pricing debacle created by Mylan and the EpiPen, one bold CEO has stepped forward.   Brent Saunders, Allergan’s leader, has taken a clear stand.  Writing on his CEO blog, Saunders tackles the elephant in the room.[1] According to Saunders, “those who have taken aggressive or predatory price increases have violated [the] social contract.”  That social contract is between the pharmaceutical…

Pricing – The Next Alamo

It started with Turing, continued with Valeant. moved on to Gilead and now has engulfed Mylan.  What is it?  It is pharmaceutical pricing.  The questions are simple. How can pharmaceutical companies suddenly raise prices on life-saving products by 500% to 5,000%? When do price increases become price gouging? The answers are not. Unfortunately, as has happened in the past when confronted with tough questions, pharmaceutical leaders are silent.  Instead, the…

Transparency’s Uncertain Future

I just returned from speaking at CBI’s 10th Annual Forum on Transparency and Aggregate Spend.  After 10 years and 3 CMS Open Payments reporting cycles, I’m struck by how uncertain the once bright future of the Sunshine Act is.  Overall, the industry remains mired in a transactional mud under increasingly gray skies. Too many companies still obsess about putting the right transaction (or transfer of value or (ToV)) into the right…