Pharma deals get extra FTC scrutiny--but it hasn't stopped rising drug costs: Bloomberg


Pharma deals are already coming under the antitrust lens more often than tie-ups in other industries, according to a new analysis. And as long as drug prices keep rising, that’s not going to change.

The FTC reviewed drugmakers’ mergers at about three times the rate of other mergers, according to Bloomberg. Those reviews range from a second request for information--which signals an investigation of the deal--to an administrative complaint or, in some cases, a lawsuit.

Most of last year’s buys ultimately did receive the necessary clearance, with the agency allaying pricing concerns through targeted asset sales, the news service notes. Between last April and April of this year, the FTC mandated asset sales in 16 merger reviews--6 of which involved pharma company deals.


Simplify and Accelerate Drug R&D With the MarkLogic Data Hub Service for Pharma R&D

Researchers are often unable to access the information they need. And, even when data does get consolidated, researchers find it difficult to sift through it all and make sense of it in order to confidently draw the right conclusions and share the right results. Discover how to quickly and easily find, synthesize, and share information—accelerating and improving R&D.

And yet, as vocal critics have been quick to point out, prices are still rising in the industry--meaning regulators may need better tools to analyze deals if they want to reverse the trend.

Pharma companies, though, aren’t likely to approve of any moves that could potentially hold up or curb their dealmaking--and investors aren’t either. Just ask Teva ($TEVA), which has seen its buy of Allergan’s ($AGN) generics unit delayed by antitrust regulators to the tune of sliding shares.

In the meantime, the U.S. government is attacking high drug prices on other fronts, too. After taking drugmakers including Valeant ($VRX) and Turing Pharmaceuticals to task over their hefty hike-ups, the Senate Special Committee on Aging earlier this week asked Pfizer ($PFE), Mylan ($MYL) and others to account for cost increases to antioverdose med naloxone.

- get more from Bloomberg

Special Report: 10 big brands keep pumping out big bucks, with a little help from price hikes

Related Articles:
Senate committee takes Pfizer, Mylan and others to task over naloxone price increases
Senate committee grills Valeant CEO Pearson for 9 hours: Bloomberg
Teva tries to clear Allergan deal with $2B more in asset sales: Reuters​
FTC digs deeper into Pfizer's proposed combo with Allergan

Suggested Articles

Saturday, AstraZeneca revealed more of the data that convinced the FDA to green-light Calquence in previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

The efficacy between Keytruda and FerGene's nadofaragene firadenovec look comparable in their studies, though Merck has at least one upper hand.

Thursday, the FDA approved the first three generic versions of Gilenya, but they may not hit the market anytime soon due to ongoing litigation.