“DOSE OF REALITY” Big Pharma’s True Track Record Is A Hard Pill To Swallow: Part III
In advance of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance hearing on February 26, 2019, the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP) is releasing a blog series on what lawmakers can expect to hear from the seven pharma executives who will attend — 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.”
Yesterday, we examined the record of AstraZeneca compared to the pledges of CEO Pascal Soriot.
Today, we will look at the rhetoric of Bristol-Myers Squibb CEO Giovanni Caforio compared to his company’s track record.
BRISTOL MYERS SQUIBB CEO GIOVANNI CAFORIO:
- “Each Day, Our Employees Around The World Work Together For Patients – It Drives Everything We Do.” (“About Us,” Bristol-Myers Squibb, Accessed 2/7/19)
- “As Global Citizens, We Work Sustainably, Responsibly And Seek To Give Back.” (“About Us,” Bristol-Myers Squibb, Accessed 2/7/19)
- In 2016, Bristol-Myers Squibb Agreed To A $19.5 Million Settlement Over Claims It “Improperly” Promoted Its Antipsychotic, Abilify, By “Minimizing Safety Risks And Overstating The Findings Of Scientific Studies That Were Used To Tout The Medication … However, The Drug Maker Did Not Admit To Any Wrongdoing.” (Ed Silverman, “Bristol-Myers Pays $19.5 Million To Settle Illegal Marketing Charges,” STAT News, 12/8/16)
- On The Same Day Bristol-Myers Squibb Announced Its Intention To Acquire Celgene, “Which Has Routinely Increased The Prices Of Its Top-Selling Drugs,” Celgene Hiked The Price Of The Dose Of Cancer Drug “Revlimid By 3.5 Percent To $719.82,” Compared With “$247.28 At The End Of 2007.” “On the same day Celgene Corp. was announcing that it would be acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. in the biggest pharma deal ever, the company was also raising the price of its blockbuster cancer drug. The Summit, New Jersey-based biotechnology company, which has routinely increased the prices of its top-selling drugs, boosted the price of a 10-milligram dose of Revlimid by 3.5 percent to $719.82 effective Jan. 3, according to price data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence and First Databank. Cancer patients need many doses of Revlimid a year, and the overall cost can approach $200,000. The same dose cost $247.28 at the end of 2007.” (Rebecca Spalding, “Celgene Boosted The Price Of Its Top Cancer Drug On The Same Day Of Mega-Deal,” Bloomberg, 1/4/19)
- Lawmakers Have Raised Concerns The Deal Would “Stifle Competition, Particularly In Cancer, Causing Drug Prices To Rise And Hurting Consumers.” (Arlene Weintraub, “Congressmen To Regulators: BMS-Celgene Merger Will Stifle Competition And Raise Drug Prices,” FiercePharma, 1/15/19)
- In Addition To “Constructing An Almost Impenetrable Fortress Of Patents And Grants Of Market Exclusivity Around Revlimid,” Celgene Hiked Revlimid’s Price By Thousands Of Dollars A Month. “When Celgene Corp. first started marketing the drug Revlimid to treat multiple myeloma in 2006, the price was $6,195 for 21 capsules, a month’s supply. By the time David Mitchell started taking Revlimid in November 2010, Celgene had bumped the price up to about $8,000 a month. When he took his last month’s worth of pills in April 2016, the sticker price had reached $10,691. By last March, the list price had reached $16,691 …. Celgene has kept generic competition at bay by constructing an almost impenetrable fortress of patents and grants of market exclusivity around Revlimid, and its sister drug Thalomid, while also taking steps to ensure that generic competitors can’t get their hands on enough of the drugs to develop viable alternatives.” (Alison Kodjak, “How A Drugmaker Gamed The System To Keep Generic Competition Away,” NPR, 5/17/18)
- Patents And Exclusivity Designations On Revlimid Will Impede Generic Competitors’ Market Entry Until At Least 2022. “When Bristol-Myers Squibb picked up Celgene in one of biopharma’s biggest deals ever last month, investors tagged one big risk: Celgene’s megablockbuster Revlimid faced patent challenges that could take a big bite out of sales … The patent office’s decision should position Celgene and BMS to strike a favorable settlement with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Credit Suisse Analyst Vamil Divan figures. Celgene has already settled with Natco Pharma in a deal that allows a limited generic launch in March 2022, he pointed out.” (Eric Sagonowsky, “BMS Can Breathe Easier Now: Celgene’s Revlimid Has Escaped A Big Patent Challenge,” FiercePharma, 2/12/19)
Stay tuned for our next blog tomorrow comparing another pharma CEO’s rhetoric to the reality.
CLICK HERE to read Big Pharma’s True Track Record Is A Hard Pill To Swallow: Part I.
CLICK HERE to read Big Pharma’s True Track Record Is A Hard Pill To Swallow: Part II.