July 5, 2016

Pharmaceutical Companies Have the Impunity to Hike Up Drug Prices

Valeant Pharmaceuticals have been recently singled out for their despicable practices. Their malevolent business strategies have made the news, but it does not alter the fact that numerous other pharmaceutical companies participate in the same practices.

According to Pharmacychecker.com, the Valeant Chief Executive Officer responded stating that their acts were purely business and he highlighted the fact it would be completely a normal practice for the CEO’s of a different company to act the same way:

“Let me state plainly that it was a mistake to pursue, and in hindsight I regret pursuing, transactions where a central premise was a planned increase in the price of medicines.” I’m sure Mr. Pearson has regrets – even pharma execs feel bad about what they have done – but is the regret really felt for pursuing a business strategy of maximizing drug prices in the U.S. market? As a rational business actor, that’s what his job is as CEO of a publicly-traded company. Isn’t that what all CEO’s of pharmaceutical companies do?”

What these executives fail to acknowledge is the fact that this company is hiking the price of necessary drugs, making it unaffordable for people who needed the drug to purchase them. Pharmacychecker.com also endorses this fact when informing:

“Valeant is viewed as particularly pernicious because its price hikes for critical medications Nitropress, Isuprel, Syprine, and Cupermine, were 310%, 720%, 3,200%, and 6000%, respectively. Even worse, these medications are old drugs, not new innovative medications. Those increases make average patented, brand name drug price increases of almost 15% in 2015 look paltry, even when that average exceeded inflation in leaps and bounces, which was under 1%.”

Even though more consumers are becoming familiar with such practices, companies like Valeant still reserve the right to significantly increase their prices without any consequences. In the end the onus is on the consumer to ensure that the medication they are purchasing, is attained by paying a fair price and is from a reliable source.

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