European Drug Pricing Alliances: Force or Farce?

Posted by Ed Schoonveld on Thu, Mar 01, 2018

Affordability of health care for an aging population, the emergence of innovative drugs with promising impact on patient lives and the continuing concerns over prescription drug costs have resulted in a deluge of political attention to drug pricing around the world. Immediately following the launch of Gilead’s Sovaldi, European governments declared an intent to more intensely collaborate on drug price negotiations. The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg (later joined by Austria) created an alliance to jointly negotiate with the pharmaceutical industry. Today, the landscape has evolved further. What are the implications of pricing alliances for pharma companies? Will this evolve to one European price negotiation? Or will it disintegrate as countries fail to agree on common standards? Let’s analyze.


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The Benefits and Misconceptions of Indication-Based Pricing

Posted by Ed Schoonveld on Fri, Jul 21, 2017

A recent Wall Street Journal article raised the challenge related to Novartis’ high-cost orphan drug Ilaris, which may have clinical potential in a broader use as a cardiovascular drug. For the cardiovascular use, the company would have to charge a significantly lower price to gain adoption in the market. It’s a fairly extreme example of a common situation where drugs with potential uses in different indications, different population sizes and different competitive price levels are posing a tough dilemma for the drug company. Indication-based pricing, allowing for a different price across diseases treated, would provide a solution to this problem and would, in some cases, allow for earlier and broader patient availability of new prescription drug treatments.


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Re-Pricing Rules in Japan Slash Prices for “Huge Sales” Drugs

Posted by Ed Schoonveld on Mon, Feb 01, 2016

At a recent meeting of the Japanese Central Social Insurance Medical Council (Chuikyo), substantial price cuts for drugs with “huge sales” were discussed. These cuts are to be implemented in April and will impact four brands:


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Clinton on Drug-Pricing Warpath: Populism, Real Problem or Both?

Posted by Ed Schoonveld on Mon, Jan 11, 2016

When pointing a finger at someone, usually three fingers are pointed at yourself. U.S. government and presidential candidates should consider this before they rush to the media briefing rooms.


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Can Pharma Ignore Turing’s Price Hikes?

Posted by Ed Schoonveld on Tue, Sep 22, 2015

Turing Pharmaceuticals caused uproar in political and medical communities with its price increase from $13.50 to $750 per pill in August for Daraprim, a toxoplasmosis treatment that was developed in 1953. It has added fuel to the already hot debate over prescription drug pricing. Turing’s CEO Martin Shkreli called the move a “smart business decision”, hardly a formulation that eases criticism in an environment where healthcare funding decisions are increasingly emotional and tough. “Price gouging” and “unscrupulous” are some of the terms used in reactions that have been dominating the news over the last few days.


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