Bill Coyle and Paul Darling co-authored this blog post with Pratap Khedkar.
The healthcare world had barely thought through the potential effects of the CVS/Aetna merger when news broke of another deal aiming to blur healthcare’s established business models: Four provider networks announced a nonprofit collaboration to manufacture generic drugs to keep prices down and lessen shortages. Skeptics have already pointed to considerable regulatory and manufacturing hurdles, so let’s focus on strategy and not implementation. If this DIY drug supply does start flowing, will it have its intended impact?
In May, I joined various members of governmental organizations, patient organizations and the life sciences industry at the 2017 Fair Pricing Forum, an invitation-only meeting to discuss “fair pricing” for medications in Amsterdam. Organized by the World Health Organization and the Dutch Ministry of Health, the meeting prompted a productive dialogue among stakeholders but also revealed a worrisome gap in the overall perception of the drug pricing discussion. The pharmaceutical industry’s viewpoint was widely underrepresented, with attendance heavily weighted toward governments and activists, and only a small industry delegation.