Were These Pharma Execs Fibbing About Providing Samples To Generic Drugmakers? Well, It’s Complicated.
At a closely watched Senate Finance hearing this week on high drug prices, pharma executives were asked if they've ever withheld samples from generic rivals to try to stave off competition. All of them said no, but two of the companies have made FDA's list of drugmakers that have complaints of withholding against them. So what's going on? Meanwhile, Novartis can't quite shake its Michael Cohen connection.
Did Some Pharma Execs Give Misleading Answers To Senate Panel?
During Tuesday’s Senate hearing on drug pricing, each of the seven pharma execs insisted their companies have never withheld samples from generic rivals, a step that has raised concerns about unfairly thwarting competition. This is because generic companies need samples to develop copycat medicines and, sometimes, run tests to show a product is bioequivalent in order to win regulatory approval. Yet a recent Food and Drug Administration list of drug makers that withheld samples includes two companies — Pfizer (PFE) and AstraZeneca (AZN) — whose chief executives testified samples were, in fact, not withheld. (Silverman, 2/27)
For Novartis, The Michael Cohen Affair Just Won’t Stay Dead
During congressional testimony Wednesday, President Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, explained why the drug giant Novartis paid him $1.2 million to act as a consultant on the Trump administration. “They came to me based on my knowledge of the enigma Donald Trump,” Cohen said in response to Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.). He said company representatives came to him, calling the pharmaceutical company “a multibillion-dollar conglomerate looking for information.” How often did he interact with them for that $1.2 million? At first, Cohen said he didn’t recall. When pressed, he responded: “I spoke to them on several occasions. Six times.” (Herper, 2/27)