- Matching similar oaths from players such as Allergan and Novo Nordisk, Abbvie announced at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference that it would keep price increases below 10% in 2017.
- The Chicago-based biopharma also promised it would only institute one price increase over the next year.
- Drug pricing was a hot topic at the conference, especially amid the backdrop of President-elect Donald Trump's criticism of the pharmaceutical industry. A host of executives weighed in on the issue, including Regeneron's CEO Len Schleifer, who said his company doesn't increase prices, and Mylan CEO Heather Bresch, who discussed what she learned from the EpiPen fallout.
The last 12 months saw highly publicized price hikes and backlash from Congress, patient groups and influential industry organizations such as the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER). According to a Reuters report, Trump is also promising to set up a form of bidding process to regulate drug pricing and to push for companies to manufacture drugs in the U.S., both moves which could pressure profit margins.
While some stakeholders have had positive responses to the price hike caps a few pharmaceutical developers are instilling, others are less than impressed. Regeneron's Schleifer, for example, questioned the need to raise prices at all if drugs are already priced to value. Schleifer and Mylan's Bresch, Mylan CEO both questioned the utility of a 10% limit when raises of 9.9% start to emerge.
Mylan has been blasted about its huge price hikes for the EpiPen, but its leader seems to be approaching 2017 with a realization that the pricing and business model has to change. Bresch has called for the industry to take bigger moves towards pricing transparency, even suggesting that the limit of 10% may not be enough for the public.
And with the upheaval promised by the Trump's election pledge to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, 2017 promises to be an interesting year for the pharma industry and healthcare.