Gilead Strikes Back At Complaints That Its Drug Pricing Is Straining Payers’ Budgets
Meanwhile, news outlets also report on how the pharmaceutical industry is facing a strong challenge with a California ballot initiative while the Biogen buyout buzz is causing ripples in the Massachusetts biotech community.
Gilead Fires Back At Medical Journal Report Critical Of Its Pricing
After getting beaten up last week over the pricing of its hepatitis C treatments in the United Kingdom, Gilead Sciences is going on the offensive. The drug maker, which has sustained intense criticism over complaints that its prices have strained payer budgets, fired back at a report in an influential medical journal and declared that “we stand behind our pricing.” Although Gilead has never been entirely mute when confronted with criticism, the drug maker is generally circumspect about addressing specific developments. But the report in BMJ seems to have hit a nerve, since the journal wrote that England’s National Health Service was forced to take several controversial steps to delay coverage of Gilead’s medicines, and it came at the expense of patients. (Silverman, 8/3)
Most Californians Support A Measure To Obtain State Discounts On Drugs
The pharmaceutical industry may be losing a heated battle over drug prices in California. A poll released earlier this week found that two-thirds of Californians support an initiative that would require drug makers to offers discounts to state health programs. And despite differences in age, ethicities, political party affiliation, and regions where they resided, the poll participants had similar responses. The initiative is on the ballot for a vote in November. (Silverman, 8/3)
Local Control On The Line Amid Biogen Takeover Speculation
It’s happened before. For many in the Massachusetts biotech community, the buyout buzz surrounding Biogen Inc. has revived vivid memories of other homegrown heavyweights, notably Genzyme Corp. and Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc., being snapped up by out-of-state pharmaceutical giants. A purchase of Biogen — which was approached by Merck & Co. and Allergan PLC, according to The Wall Street Journal — would likely mean the loss of local control for the state’s largest remaining biotech and most valuable public company. (Weisman, 8/4)