Drugmakers ‘Game The System And Game The Rules,’ FDA Head Gottlieb Says
Food and Drug Administration chief Scott Gottlieb speaks with USA Today. In other pharmaceutical industry news, biopharma companies spend big on lobbying lawmakers. And drugmakers walk a fine line between pricey innovation and consumers' fiscal tolerance.
FDA Chief Says Drug Makers Are Gaming The System To Slow Generic Competition; Vows Action
A day after President Trump lashed out at the black CEO of drug maker Merck on Twitter, his new Food and Drug Administration commissioner said brand name drug companies are "gaming the system" to block generic competition and vowed to do something about it. Physician and FDA chief Scott Gottlieb declined to comment on Trump's tweet urging Merck's Kenneth Frazier to lower drug prices after Trump's response to the violent Charlottesville, Va., protests prompted Frazier to resign from the White House manufacturing council. However, in a meeting Tuesday with USA TODAY's Editorial Board, Gottlieb didn't mince words when it came to his plans to stop what he said are anti-competitive actions by brand-name pharmaceutical companies that keep prices high. (O'Donnell, 8/15)
Who Gets All That Biopharma Lobbying Money?
As the winds shift in Washington, here’s something to depend on: Big pharma and health products companies will be the top spenders on lobbying, and the competition isn’t close. Since 1998, they have doled out $3.7 billion to convince, cajole, entice, or strong-arm Congress and federal agencies — more than $1 billion more than any other industry. That doesn’t count campaign contributions, donations to independent pressure groups, and outlays for politicking at the state level. Since January 2016, the industry has spent about $144 million on federal lobbying, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. It can claim a big victory from last year’s passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, which is expected to speed up Food and Drug Administration drug approvals. (Piller, 8/16)
The Wall Street Journal:
The New Innovator’s Dilemma: When Customers Won’t Pay For Better
Danish drug giant Novo Nordisk is living through a corporate nightmare that any CEO might recognize from business school. After the company concentrated on making essentially one product better and better—and charging more and more—customers have suddenly stopped paying for all that improvement. The established versions are, well, good enough. (Roland, 8/15)