Valeant hits back at Clinton's 'predatory pricing' accusations
- Valeant Pharmaceuticals last week defended its pricing of D.H.E. 45, a migraine injectable, after Hillary Clinton accused the company of predatory pricing.
- In a blog post on Thursday, Valeant said its share of the market for D.H.E. 45 was less than 1%, claiming Perrigo's generic version of the drug outsells its branded version 250 to 1.
- Clinton made her remarks at a town hall in Iowa, after receiving a letter from an attendee detailing how the cost of a Valeant D.H.E. 45 prescription had risen to over $14,700 for 10 vials from about $3,200 for the same quantity in June 2014.
Valeant's stock took a hit following the Thursday posting of a blog by Clinton's campaign describing Valeant's price hikes for the drug. Speaking at a town hall the weekend before last, Clinton had specifically targeted Valeant's price increases for D.H.E. 45 saying, "This is predatory pricing. It is unjustified. It is wrong and we are going to make sure it is stopped."
Valeant has been under fire for months ever since accusations were made against its since-terminated relationship with the specialty pharmacy Philidor. In particular, lawmakers and patients have criticized its aggressive pricing strategy of acquiring older, off-patent drugs and steeply increasing the price.
Clinton's specific targeting and pledge to stop such practices expands upon previous attacks by presidential candidates against the pharmaceutical industry. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has been particularly outspoken on this issue, going as far as blocking Robert Califf's nomination for FDA commissioner due to Califf's ties to the industry.
In its post defending its pricing, Valeant notes "whenever the sales volume of a drug declines, manufacturers must consider pricing adjustments to keep production of the drug viable." The company expects 200 units of D.H.E. 45 to be sold in 2016, for net revenues of about $1 million.
Following its rebuttal on Thursday, Valeant's stock climbed to about $90 a share to close out the week. The stock has fallen slightly in Monday morning trading.
Perrigo manufactures the generic version of D.H.E. 45, which has been available since 2003.
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