Big Pharma Giants With Affinity for Price Hikes Acquire Smaller Brand Name Drug Companies with Their Own History of Egregious Pricing Practices
This week, two Big Pharma giants, both with a long track record of egregious pricing and anti-competitive practices, announced acquisitions of smaller companies with their own history of price-gouging behavior. On Monday, Pfizer announced plans to acquire drug maker Seagen, known for its pipeline of cancer medications, for $43 billion. As STAT News reported, the deal is “the largest acquisition in biopharma since 2019 when AbbVie purchased Allergan for $63 billion.” Seagan was featured in the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review’s (ICER) 2022 Unsubstantiated Price Increase Report for price hikes on the company’s cancer drug Adcetris. The report found Seagen increased the price of Adcetris by more than nine percent over a 12-month period and that the increase was “unsupported by new clinical evidence.”
Also on Monday, French drug maker Sanofi announced plans to acquire Provention Bio, known for its diabetes drug Tzield, for $2.9 billion. Provention Bio recently launched Tzield at a price of $193,900 for a course of treatment after receiving U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the drug in November. Even Wall Street analysts expressed shock and concern at the pricing of the brand name drug — which far exceeded expectations. Gregory Renza, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said “This (price) is much higher than perhaps what the Street was expecting.”
As they say, birds of a feather flock together. Get the facts on Pfizer and Seagen and Sanofi and Provention Bio’s shared histories of egregious pricing practices here:
Pfizer and Seagen
Highlights from Pfizer’s Most Recent Price Hikes
Seagen’s Unsubstantiated Price Hike on Adcetris
Sanofi and Provention Bio
The Latest on Sanofi’s Price Hikes
Provention Bio’s Egregious Price Tag on Tzield
Pfizer’s acquisition of Seagen and Sanofi’s acquisition of Provention Bio are just the latest examples of Big Pharma companies with shared affinity for price-gouging joining forces. Other recent Big Pharma mergers and acquisitions include:
Amgen & Horizon Therapeutics
Late last year, Big Pharma giant Amgen announced plans to acquire Horizon Therapeutics for $27.8 billion, making it the largest healthcare merger of the year. Horizon Therapeutics is known for several rare autoimmune and severe inflammatory disease drugs, including Tepezza, which treats thyroid eye disease, and Krystexxa, which treats gout.
As the Wall Street Journal reported, Amgen’s motivations in making the deal may be related to the fact that the company is set to lose patent protection on several blockbuster treatments later this decade, including best-selling osteoporosis drugs Prolia and Xgeva.
Indivior and Opiant Pharmaceuticals
Also last year, pharmaceutical company Indivior announced plans to acquire Opiant Pharmaceuticals as part of an effort to consolidate market power over opioid addiction and opioid treatments and undermine access to more affordable alternatives.
AstraZeneca and Alexion Pharmaceuticals
And in 2020, Big Pharma giant AstraZeneca announced plans to acquire rare disease drug maker Alexion Pharmaceuticals in a $39 billion merger. And as the Wall Street Journal reports, many Big Pharma companies are “sitting on big piles of cash,” and looking to, “acquisitions as a key strategy to expand sales.” So, stay tuned for more potential deals on the horizon.
Learn more about how Big Pharma targets mergers and acquisitions to keep prices high, extend monopolies and boost profits HERE.
Learn more about Pfizer’s planned COVID-19 vaccine price increases HERE.
Learn more about Provention Bio’s Egregious $193,000 Price Tag on Diabetes Drug Tzield HERE.
Learn more about bipartisan, market-based solutions to hold Big Pharma accountable HERE.