Perspectives: Drugmakers Love To Hide Behind R&D Costs. Are They Justified?
Read recent commentaries about drug-cost issues.
Pharma Keeps Ignoring Its Price Problem
Want to get pharma companies up in arms? Tell them it doesn't cost that much to get a cancer drug to market.A widely reported paper published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association did exactly that, claiming that the median cost of developing a cancer drug was $648 million for a set of 10 companies. A recent industry-sponsored study puts the number closer to $3 billion. (Max Nisen, 9/14)
This Pharma CEO Promised Fair Pricing, But His Latest Move Is Raising Ire
One year ago, Brent Saunders tried to single-handedly reset the national debate over drug pricing. The Allergan chief executive issued a “social contract” and vowed to keep price hikes below 10 percent a year. He argued that drug makers could — and should — act responsibly amid smoldering criticism over prices. Few companies followed suit, but Saunders won a high profile for his efforts. Now, though, an ingenious deal he struck to protect Allergan’s patents on a lucrative drug calls into question his campaign to do right by the American public. In short, the social contract may be headed for the trash bin. (Ed Silverman, 9/19)
So Much PARP Inhibitor Deal Hype, So Little Payoff
We're more than a year into a frenzy of M&A speculation about a new group of cancer drugs called PARP inhibitors, and there's been no big buyout payoff. But investors aren't jaded yet. An unverified rumor that Eli Lilly & Co. is considering buying PARP competitor Clovis Oncology Inc. was enough to send the purported target's shares up 10 percent on Monday. (Max Nisen, 9/18)
The Columbus Dispatch:
Drug-Price Issue Risky, Speculative
Many elections, voters are left with the choice of having to cross their fingers or hold their nose. If Issue 2 passes in November, Ohioans would be doing both. The highly confusing Ohio Drug Price Relief Act boils down to this: Ohioans would be stuck with an unworkable ballot-initiated law that, given its faulty premise, won’t produce the fantastical savings promised. Likely, the legislature would struggle with repairing the law to stanch damage to critical social programs; politicians generally are reluctant to tamper with a vote of the people. (9/18)
Biotech Gets More Forgiving, But Riskier
More than just about any other sector, biotech demands faith from its investors. Right now, belief appears to be strong. Faced with a string of worrying news from prominent biotechs in the past two weeks, investors have largely been willing to give the benefit of the doubt. That's a big shift from 2016, when any weakness was immediate cause for a huge selloff. (Max Nisen, 9/13)
Allergan Patent Deal Isn't Just Unusual. It's Ugly.
Late last year, at a Forbes magazine health-care conference, I heard Brent Saunders, the chief executive of Allergan PLC, talk about drug prices. He said the drug industry’s reliance on big price increases to generate profits had gotten out of hand. He vowed that Allergan wouldn’t raise prices more than 10 percent a year, and described a patient assistance program that would ensure no one would lack an Allergan medicine because of cost. ... you know the old saying: Watch what they do, not what they say. Late Friday afternoon, Saunders and Allergan showed their true colors: The company announced that it would transfer the patent rights to one of its most important drugs, the eye medication Restasis, to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe. (Joe Nocera, 9/11)