When do rising drug prices not equal rising sales? When payers step in to control costs--and that's exactly what they've been doing.
The FDA is getting an earful from another group intent on saving money on biotech drugs. A coalition of pharmacies, health insurers, unions and pension plans asked the agency to allow biosimilar drugs to carry the same generic names as the drugs they copy. Easy to substitute the biosim for the brand, easier to cut biotech drug spending.
In case anyone missed the latest forecast, drug prices were up last year and are going to continue to grow, perhaps at double-digit rates in some cases. The outlook comes from the second pharmacy benefits management report to be released in three days, this one from CVS Caremark following Express Scripts' missive on Tuesday.
Express Scripts released more stunning numbers on what could happen with spending on drugs to treat hepatitis C as it builds a case against the price Gilead Sciences has put on a drug that can cure the disease.
Which drugs cost U.S. health plans the most? Take a look at this year's iteration of Express Scripts' annual Drug Trend Report, and you'll find commentary on drug prices, the pharma industry, and American society. Not to mention a hint at which brands are best at getting themselves noticed.
Express Scripts and Gilead Sciences are playing a high-priced game of chicken. At stake is the fate of Sovaldi (sofosbuvir), Gilead's high-priced hepatitis C pill, and the future of hep C treatment in the U.S. Not to mention the future of Sovaldi rivals from AbbVie, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and more.
Any industry that's undergoing as much change as biopharma is always looking for leadership. Old marketing practices are being blown apart, R&D is being subjected to emergency surgery, drug...
Gilead Sciences can take the sort of pricing protest that greeted its breakthrough hepatitis C treatment Sovaldi this week--the kind from access-to-medicine advocates. But when payers balk, that's a different story. A horror story, even, that could frighten drugmakers long accustomed to pricing freedom in the U.S.
A few weeks ago, Novo Nordisk said it had lost Express Scripts' business on two of its top drugs, Victoza and NovoLog. Well, that was just part of the action at the pharmacy benefits manager. More than 40 other drugs, including some of Big Pharma's newest growth prospects, got the same treatment. And ironically, drugmakers may have their own marketing techniques to blame.
Bracket, the pharma contracting arm of Express Scripts, is now the property of Parthenon Capital Partners, the latest private equity takeover in a fast-consolidating industry.