Pfizer Agrees to Give Rx Price Information to GAO
Pfizer Inc. yesterday announced a "last-minute compromise" to provide prescription drug price information voluntarily to the General Accounting Office after the agency agreed to "safeguards that would keep the information confidential," the Wall Street Journal reports. The GAO subpoenaed Pfizer CEO Henry McKinnell earlier this month after the company failed to provide the agency with requested drug price information (Wall Street Journal, 1/15). Last summer, the GAO requested drug price information from 11 pharmaceutical companies as part of an investigation into whether the companies "improperly" inflated some drugs' average wholesale price -- the price that the government uses to set Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates -- while selling those drugs to providers for less, allowing the providers to bill the government at the higher rate. Pfizer, the only company that did not comply with the GAO's request, said then that the drug price information "should remain confidential" (California Healthline, 1/8). The subpoena required Pfizer to respond by Jan. 14. Pfizer General Counsel Jeffrey Kindler said through a spokesperson that the company and the GAO have "arrived at a mutually satisfactory resolution" of the issue (Wall Street Journal, 1/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.