Valeant Sees Smaller Drug Price Increases in 2016
Facing calls for congressional inquiries and investigations by prosecutors in New York and Massachusetts, Valeant Pharmaceuticals officials say the outlook for the drug industry in 2016 is for lower price increases.
During a third-quarter earnings call, Valeant officials said they don’t foresee acquiring any new products to make a major score, as they expect none of their drug prices to increase by more than 10 percent.
“Given the evolution of our product mix, coupled with the recent events, it is likely that we will pursue fewer, if any, transactions that are focused on these price products,”Valeant Chief Executive J. Michael Pearson said.
The mild forecast follows ongoing probes into its 500 percent and 200 percent price hikes on two of heart drugs Isuprel (isoproterenol) and Nitropress (sodium nitroprusside), following their purchase from Marathon Pharmaceuticals in February.
Valeant has responded to a letter from Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), offering information on the company’s pricing decision and programs designed to improve access to the drugs, the officials said. The drugmaker is also beginning an outreach program with hospitals where the impact of the price change was significantly greater than the average.
In addition, the company’s attorneys are in contact with federal prosecutors in New York and Massachusetts and are cooperating with those investigations. — John Bechtel