- Sanofi CEO Olivier Brandicourt is joining the ranks of pharma execs pledging to keep drug price increases at a minimum and vowing more transparency on how its products are priced.
- In light of this new transparency, Sanofi said its 2016 average aggregate list price increase relative to 2015 was 4%, while average aggregate net price decreased by 2.1%.
- Brandicourt said in his pledge that Sanofi bases its pricing on “considering whether similar treatment options are available or anticipated at the time of launch; assessing affordability for patients; and taking further into account any additional unique factors specific to each product.”
In September, Allergan CEO Brent Sauders kicked off a movement from the pharmaceutical industry when he pledged to keep drug price increases below 10%.
Several other companies have followed suit, including Johnson & Johnson, Novo Nordisk and AbbVie. Other big pharmas like Eli Lilly & Co. and Merck & Co. have vowed to be more transparent as well.
The pledge comes as the drug pricing backlash hits a fever pitch. For months – even years – the public and Congress have been speaking out about the high cost of drugs in the U. S. Congressional inquiries and lawsuits have been able to curb some dramatic price increases, spelling major trouble for companies like Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Turing Pharmaceuticals.
And backlash and shame have pushed other companies to price their drugs more reasonably, albeit still high. Sanofi, for example, was lauded by the press for pricing its recently approved eczema drug at an annual wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) of just $37,000.
All the while, industry groups like PhRMA have been touting the high cost of innovation and passing off the blame for high price tags to middlemen like pharmacy benefit mangers.
Ultimately, pledges like the one Sanofi is vowing to make have done little to appease consumers and aren't going a long way to improve the image of the pharmaceutical industry as patients continue to struggle to pay for out-of-pocket costs.