Drug pricing is a recurring topic amongst U.S. politicians and the media, and it experiences the occasional erratic peak in attention when President Trump aims his early morning tweets at pharma. It’s a much more complex topic than can be discussed in 140 characters, however, and unfortunately, the pharmaceutical industry thus far hasn’t been able to provide compelling answers to politicians and the public. Some bad actors, such as Turings’s ex-CEO Martin Shkreli, have seriously harmed the industry’s reputation, and pharmaceutical companies now need to act.
Recently, a number of pharmaceutical executives have followed the example of Allergan CEO Brent Saunders and made "social contract" commitments in relation to drug pricing. While this is an important step forward, there are other elements to the drug pricing discussion that need to be addressed in order to develop a durable solution. Issues include the lack of competitiveness in selected generics markets and PBMs’ short-term focus on rebates.
My colleagues Bill Coyle and Howard Deutsch collaborated with me on a recent article in Pharmeceutical Commerce that offers a detailed analysis of the situation, as well as some recommendations for resolution. Let us know what you think.