DOSE OF REALITY: Big Pharma’s True Track Record Is A Hard Pill To Swallow – Part I
As bipartisan momentum to hold Big Pharma accountable and take action on out-of-control drug prices continues to build, the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance is scheduled to question the executives of seven major pharmaceutical manufacturers on February 26, 2019.
In advance of the hearing, the second held by the committee on drug pricing this year, the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP) is rolling out a new blog series on what lawmakers can expect to hear from these seven pharma CEOs – and why their rhetoric rings hollow when measured against their companies’ track record.
We’re taking a look at the unkept pledges, proclamations and promises made by Big Pharma that lawmakers should be prepared to confront with a “dose of reality.”
In today’s dose of reality, we’ll see how the rhetoric of AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez matches up with reality (“the hard medicine”).
ABBVIE CEO RICHARD GONZALEZ:
- “We Make Decisions Based On Our Deep Caring And Compassion For People, Delivering A Lasting Impact To Our Patients, Their Families, Our Employees, And The Community.” (“About AbbVie,” AbbVie, Accessed 2/7/19)
- “We Strive To Always Do The Right Thing. With Uncompromising Integrity At The Heart Of Everything We Do, We Pursue The Highest Standards In Quality, Compliance, Safety, And Performance.” (“About AbbVie,” AbbVie, Accessed 2/7/19)
- AbbVie Has Raised The Price Of Its Best-Selling Drug, Humira, By 100 Percent From 2012-2018. (Danny Hakim, “Humira’s Best-Selling Drug Formula: Start At A High Price. Go Higher.” The New York Times, 1/6/18)
- Originally Set To Lose Patent Protection In 2014, AbbVie Has More Than Doubled The Span Under Which Its Blockbuster Humira Is Covered, With The Latest Expiration Now In 2034. “The company listed 22 patents for various diseases or methods of treatment, 14 on the drug’s formulation, 24 on its manufacturing practices, and 15 ‘other’ patents. The latest expiration date is 2034 – providing more than double the protection span a drug such as Humira might normally expect.” (Cynthia Koons, “This Shield Of Patents Protects The World’s Best-Selling Drug,” Bloomberg Businessweek, 9/7/17)
- “247 Patent Applications Have Been Filed On Humira In The U.S. With The Aim Of Delaying Competition For 39 Years.” (“Overpatented, Overpriced: Special Humira Edition,” I-MAK, Accessed 2/7/19)
- In September 2018, AbbVie’s Chief Financial Officer Bill Chase Boasted About Extending Humira’s U.S. Monopoly Saying, “You’ve Seen Us Execute Very Nicely With Our Legal Strategy And The Settlements Around The U.S. Events To Delay The Onset Of [Loss Of Humira’s Exclusivity] Into The 2022-2023 Time Period.” “Cheaper versions of Humira are hitting European markets next month, and a top AbbVie executive is celebrating two separate deals that would prevent that from happening in the U.S. – where Humira’s annual costs are as much as a high-end car – for five years.” (Bob Herman, “AbbVie Boasts Of Extending Humira’s U.S. Monopoly,” Axios, 9/12/18)
The truth is, Big Pharma’s price gouging is impacting patients from coast to coast – who are struggling to afford the medications they need to survive.
Click the below map the read more about their stories, and the impact out-of-control drug prices are truly having on every day Americans: