Is Drug Price Transparency DOA?

Once again drug price transparency is in the news. Now it appears that efforts to improve pricing visibility are dead on arrival.  If we look at recent actions by Pfizer and Mylan, it may well be.  At the very least, their actions cast doubt Brent Saunders’ notion of a “social contract” between drug companies and patients. [1] Pfizer Sues Texas Pfizer and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission are in court.  Medicaid…

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…