Is the US biopharma industry headed for a turning point in 2017?
Three months ago, Brent Saunders fired a shot across the bow of the USS Big Pharma, pledging to limit Allergan’s annual price increase on its portfolio drugs to no more than single-digit percentage hikes each year. On Monday, the new US president of diabetes specialist Novo Nordisk took that pledge. And 2017 is shaping up as a potential turning point in the heated public argument over drug prices in the US.
“We recognize that people with diabetes are finding it harder to pay for their healthcare, including the medicines we make,” noted Jakob Riis, Novo’s US president, in a post. “As a company focused on improving the lives of people with diabetes, this is not acceptable.”
“I applaud the action taken by Novo Nordisk to limit their price increases on insulin,” Saunders tells Endpoints News. “It’s the right decision for patients and the innovative biopharma industry. I hope more companies realize the importance of taking proactive steps to self-regulate on pricing so we can focus on finding cures and treatments for unmet medical needs.”
After a parade of biopharma execs took their turn in the headlights of Congressional investigations this year on price gouging, access and affordability in an era of unprecedented innovation have become central to the industry’s future. Biopharma can self-regulate, or entertain the various ideas about price controls that are currently circulating in the House, the Senate and soon the White House.
And that’s what we’ll be discussing at the first ever Endpoints News executive breakfast event at JP Morgan on the morning of January 10. Saunders, along with Steve Pearson at ICER, Stephen Ubl at PhRMA and Alkermes CEO Richard Pops will grapple with the thorny dialogue on drugs. And I’ll be there to moderate at the Hilton Union Square. You can register here. And you can drop me a line with any questions you may have. — John Carroll