Tag Archives: pricing

Let Pfizer Compete in the Generic Market with Lipitor®

In a previous post we discussed the opportunity for Big Pharma companies to potentially preserve market share for their brands by competing with generic versions on price once their products lose market exclusivity.  Pfizer seems to have taken this strategic concept to a new level.  First cutting deals with Pharmacy Benefits Managers to make Lipitor® available at or below generic drug prices, then turning around and also providing discount coupons to lower patient co-pays for example from $10 for generic drugs to $4 for Lipitor.

Pfizer’s aggressive approach to “competing “ in this market has been met with considerable negative commentary and even Congressional inquiry.  Interestingly, Pharmacy Benefits Managers and their trade association (Pharmaceutical Care Management Association), the same groups that use and advocate similar tactics to encourage generic drug use,  are on the front lines of criticizing the Pfizer co-pay discount tactic.  The contention is that the Pfizer campaign will cost insurance companies and employers more,  even if patients benefit from a lower out of pocket cost.   And some of those in Congress have expressed concern,  wonder if the discounts provided by Pfizer will be passed along to insurers and employers or be pocketed by the PBMs.

Well, if there was such a thing as a “free, open market” there might be a simple answer to this.  Let the market decide.  If Pfizer wants to price their products similar or even lower than their generic competitors,  they can.  If patients want to use the discount coupons to lower their co-pays,  they can.  If generic drug companies want to provide co-pay discount coupons,  they can.  If the PBMs, and their insurance company and employer partners,  want to lower or even eliminate their co-pays for generic drugs, they can.

If this is really about “price” and lowering the cost of prescription drugs, especially for a particular product, within regulatory quality standards, let the low cost producer and provider with the lowest price win.  Why shouldn’t branded product manufacturers be able to compete on price in the generic drug market, if they want to?  m ike@pharmareform.com

What can FDA really do about drug shortages?

President Obama is reported to have issued an executive order for the FDA to fix the drug shortage.  But, what can the FDA do, realistically?  Giving advanced notice of an impending shortage won’t help, especially with the current shortage.  And, even if FDA had authority and power to force manufacturers to continue manufacturing, how do you do that if quality of manufacturing or lack of cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practices) compliant active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) are the problems?

The drug shortage problem has been evolving over the past 5 years or so and was inevitable given the market pressures on generic drug pricing and a market expectation for FDA approved products to be manufactured under rigorous cGMP conditions affirmed by FDA facility inspections (remember heparin?).

First, I believe the root cause of most of the drug shortages is the lack of financial incentive (profitability) to ensure a continuous supply of product to the market.  This is mostly not a Big Pharma issue with high margin branded products.  The majority of drug shortages are for generic drugs and many are injectable products (difficult to manufacture).  Generic does not necessarily mean easy or cheap to manufacture.

So, why don’t generic drug companies just raise their prices?  Well, perhaps the biggest factor is Medicare pricing and the 6% price increase cap in any 6 month period but also the aggressive price negotiations by Pharmacy Benefits Managers, pharmacy chains, hospital purchasing groups, and wholesalers.   Besides the manufacturing logistic challenges, the Medicare price increase cap leaves little incentive to ramp up production in the face of a shortage.

If low profit margins accentuated by the challenges and expense of maintaining manufacturing quality are to be blamed for these shortages,  what can FDA do?

First, FDA could be more lenient about the expectations and enforcement of cGMP requirements.  This might be a reasonable option where compliance issues are minor administrative deficiencies that should be in place but may not be as tidy as FDA and cGMP regs might require.  If administrative record keeping and paperwork issues are keeping otherwise high quality products off the market, FDA could provide some relief, at least temporarily.  My guess is this is not the case in most current drug shortage situations with manufacturing quality and FDA concerns being of a more serious nature.  And, to ignore cGMP entirely (e.g., don’t inspect so you don’t find)  is not a viable option where patient safety is at risk.

A more reasonable option, if the manufacturer really wants to continue manufacturing, would be to have the FDA work closer on an expedited plan for resolving regulatory concerns about safety or quality manufacturing issues.  Similarly, the FDA could work with interested alternative manufacturers to facilitate an accelerated approval of facilities, processes, and drug application.

I’m somewhat skeptical about fixing manufacturing issues because the investment (accelerated cash spend in short period of time) to resolve the issues may be far more than the market might be willing to pay for in terms of higher prices.  And with higher prices, even if manufacturers could raise prices to sufficiently profitable levels, comes the potential for market criticism and resentment because you are charging more than they used to pay.  Raising prices on prescription drugs, even when warranted, is a “no win” for manufacturers.

FDA could require filing “continuity of supply” plans with new drug approvals, brand or generic.  No viable alternative plan, no approval.  Besides being difficult to enforce, it won’t help the near-term drug shortages.

I’ve also read about building government stockpiles of “critical medicines. “  I’m not sure about the practicality of this in terms of how much supply for how long.  Would you stockpile months or year supplies? This might provide some modest initial financial incentive to the chosen manufacturers and these stockpiled drugs would also need to be replenished once they expire.  Managing this process and determining which manufacturer will get the contract at what price for a particular product, however, could undermine the purpose and viability.

The problem with most of the proposed solutions is they don’t address the root cause …  lack of financial incentive to ensure a continuous supply.

If the products that are now on the shortage list were priced at or maybe even priced slightly below the historic branded prices, I’m certain most would not be in short supply.  Manufacturers would already have “continuity of supply” plans in place. They would be making absolutely sure they made the necessary investments to ensure cGMP compliance.  They would make sure their active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) suppliers were sufficiently incentivized to ensure a continuous supply.  And if there was an anticipated problem, they would be working diligently around the clock and making any necessary investments to ensure supply to the market.  The FDA can not fix these financial incentive issues, regardless of the regulatory authority the President or Congress might want to bestow on the agency.  mike@pharmareform.com

Branded Prescription Drugs at Generic Drug Prices

Over 70% of prescriptions today are filled with generic drugs.  Once a branded product loses patent protection, they experience generic erosion and a rapid decline in market share of prescriptions.  With the healthcare market becoming increasingly more managed (think government, insurers, and Pharmacy Benefits Managers) and the dramatic difference in price (generic drugs being significantly less expensive) it doesn’t take long for generic drugs to replace branded products in the market.

But …  what would happen if the branded product manufacturers (Big Pharma) started to “match generic drug prices” once their product patents expired?   As generic drugs of the branded product come to market, the branded product matches their price or even prices slightly lower than the generic drug to preserve their market share.    Surely, nobody could be a lower cost manufacturer than the innovator, brand manufacturer.

Let’s think about this. The branded company development costs are well behind them.  Manufacturing facilities, equipment, and staff are already in place.  Training, quality systems, and regulatory compliance requirements are also in place.  Operational efficiencies have been honed over years of production.  Branded manufacturers can certainly negotiate at least as good a terms on API (active pharmaceutical ingredients), packaging, and supplies as the generic drug companies.  And while branded manufacturers may have higher “overhead expenses” that’s an accounting allocation issue.  Building a patient base, marketing, sales, and supply chain logistics are already in place for the branded product.

The generic drug company on the other hand has to develop the generic product (formulation and establishing bioequivalence can be challenging), purchase and set up manufacturing capabilities (or retool what they have), source API, packaging, and supplies, put in place new manufacturing SOPs (standard operating procedures) and regulatory required quality processes.  They have to hire and train new personnel (or at least retrain current staff), develop their regulatory filing, and secure FDA approval.  They may even have to challenge the patent validity of the innovator product.  And once approved, they have to market to and negotiate with the supply chain and the managed market.  In the end, these are all new costs for generic drug companies that have to be covered in the price of their new product entry.

In the past, branded products matching generic drug prices would have meant leaving money on the table and forfeiting profits as generic drugs gradually made their way into the market over a period of years.  Today, however, it only takes a matter of months before a majority of branded prescriptions drugs can be converted to generics.

I’m sure somebody has already done the math on this from a Big Pharma profitability perspective but I still believe that “matching generic drug prices” could have value for patients and Big Pharma.   Matching generic drug prices would preserve a large patient base of lifetime revenue (albeit at lower margins) for the branded product.  It also rewards loyal patients with lower prices for the same drugs they may have been taking for years. It would certainly make it easier and more efficient for healthcare providers, patients, and the managed market in that there would be no reason to worry about changing patient prescriptions.   And, while Big Pharma might view this as “throwing in the towel” ,  this approach would be a challenging “game changer” for the generic drug industry.  mike@pharmareform.com

Healthcare Reform and Generic Drugs will Drive Branded Prescription Drug Prices Higher

Recently, in one month, the price of my branded prescription drug for high cholesterol went from $130 per month to $145 per month at the same pharmacy.  Yesterday I changed to a generic drug alternative (not the same as the brand I was taking) which will cost me $4 per month after joining a $20 per year prescription savings club.  I now get more than two years of medication for the price I was paying for one month of the branded product.  Assuming I will be able to control my cholesterol with this new medication (no reason to believe it won’t as I have taken most of them over the past several years),  at $1 per week it is hard to complain about the high price of prescription drugs.

So why was I even paying $130 in the first place, when generic alternatives were available?  Well, when I had prescription drug coverage through my employer provided insurance,  my co-pay for the branded products was about $20.   I not only didn’t think about the actual price of the drug but I didn’t even care to know what it would have cost without insurance.   Generic drug alternatives didn’t enter the thought process.  Besides, how much lower priced could the generic drug be? More recently, until the price increase,  I just kept getting the prescription filled even though it seemed expensive at $130 per month.

Fortunately my physician agreed to try me on the generic alternative.  For once I also felt fortunate that I was not covered by a government program (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE) which would have made me ineligible for this savings club and these generic drug prices.  There is a wide range of therapeutic categories with over 400 generic medications available from this pharmacy prescription savings club priced at $12 for a 90-day supply (or $9.99 for 30 days).  Again, hard to suggest these prices are unreasonable and they certainly are not expensive in the context of most prescription drug price discussions.  Even without the savings club membership the price would have been less than $30 per month.

Despite the fact that over 70% of prescriptions in the US are now filled with generics drugs, I can’t help but to think from my own experience that there are still a lot of people who could financially benefit from a switch to generics.   I also believe healthcare reform will bring significant cost pressures to get more patients converted to generic drugs.  The Congressional Budget Office reported that in 2007, if all of the 45 million Medicare Part D prescriptions filled with multiple-source brand-name drugs (brand name drugs with generic alternatives) had instead been filled with their generic counterparts, an additional $900 million would have been saved.  And that is without considering therapeutic substitutions (as my case would be considered) or the potential savings from the blockbusters now coming off patent over the next few years.

The biggest downside for patients resulting from this healthcare market evolution to encouraging the use of more generic drugs is that if you need one of the innovative branded products for which there is no good generic alternative, you are going to pay much higher prices than you might have in the past.  If my generic cholesterol lowering agent isn’t as effective (or has more side effects) as the branded product I was taking, I’ll be back to paying the $140 per month.

I believe two factors will drive branded product prices higher with healthcare reform.   First, truly innovative treatments that deliver real clinical value and unique therapeutic benefits will command a premium price because they will be deemed worth paying for and taking.   Second, more generic drugs and more patients taking generic drugs will shrink the market for branded products to people who absolutely need the branded products.   Drug companies will have to exact their profits from fewer products that can deliver these unique therapeutic benefits to much smaller patient populations.   Companion diagnostics will further reduce these already small populations of patients, by identifying responders and eliminating those who might experience side effects.

So the good news for patients is there will be more generic drugs available at low prices resulting in lower costs to government programs (tax payer benefit), private insurance (keeps co-pays lower), and patients.   Pharma companies on the other hand will be able to, and will have to, charge even higher prices when patients need their innovative branded products.

Disclosure:  I am not compensated  by the prescription savings club.  The link is included here only as a reference.

mike@pharmareform.com

High Prescription Drug Prices pay for more than the High Cost of R & D

More often than not you hear Pharma defend high prescription drug prices as necessary to cover the high costs associated with pharmaceutical research and development.  Over the course of 7-10 years or longer they may spend $1.0 billion or more to get a product to market.  While the time and costs of drug development may be real, the rightfully skeptical healthcare market and patients have never really accepted this rationale for high prescription prices, often pointing to the more visible high cost of marketing and sales.  And now, this high cost of R & D rationale has become even less believable.

What makes this rationale even less believable today then ever before?  The fact that pharmaceutical companies can afford to spend tens of billions of dollars on mergers and acquisitions while dismantling the acquired companies, laying off thousands of employees (including research scientists), and at the same time, reducing the R & D investment the two merged companies might have otherwise spent.

The other area that challenges the credibility of the bogus high pricing rationale is the affordability pharmaceutical companies have to pay hundreds of millions of dollars or even billions of dollars in fines and settlements for alleged and sometimes proven wrongdoing.

Unfortunately, the billions of dollars spent on mega-mergers and litigation settlements don’t go towards producing any innovative new products.  Pfizer spent $68 billion (equal to the total annual amount of industry spending on R & D) to acquire Wyeth and Merck spent $41 billion to merge with Schering, not to mention the hundreds of millions spent by the two on restructuring, legal, and banking fees.  None of this money went to R & D.

Similarly, none of the $2.3 billion in fines and settlement Pfizer recently coughed up nor the hundreds of millions of dollars of settlement paid by other companies for their alleged indiscretions will go to R & D.   In fact, Pfizer’s $2.3 billion settlement represents more than 30% of their anticipated $6 billion spend on R& D this year.  The $2.3 billion alone would have put any other company in the top 20 of pharmaceutical companies in R & D spending.

So when Pharma says they need high prices to support R & D it is no surprise that the healthcare market and patients recoil with skepticism, frustration, and animosity.

mike@pharmareform.com

Hidden Upside for Pharmaceutical Pricing in Healthcare Reform

Recent announcements and news coverage about health insurance company actual and anticipated rate increases may have gotten President Obama’s attention but more importantly, raises serious questions about how and if increasing costs will or can be controlled in the new world of healthcare reform.  Keep in mind that we are all paying for increasing healthcare costs regardless of whether we have private insurance, employer provided (your paycheck deduction increasing for your share ) or  government subsidized coverage (your taxes at work).

One of the near term beneficiaries of out of control healthcare costs is going to be the pharmaceutical industry.  Coverage and use of expensive branded prescription drugs will continue and while adoption and market acceptance may be slowed by higher introductory prices for new prescription drugs, they will most likely still get on formularies and be available for physicians to prescribe.  I believe, however,  this will be a short lived upside.  Without change and a focus on cost control, here is how I see it playing out.

In the near term, as long as insurance companies and pharmacy benefit providers can continue to raise their rates to cover their costs and maintain profitability, there is little incentive to get aggressive about coverage or costs.  If patients and physicians demand treatment, including expensive procedures or branded prescription drugs, insurers may assess the impact on profitability near-term and they may go through the motions of evaluating reasonableness long-term but in the end they know they have the ability to cover costs by squeezing providers and increasing rates.  So, it really doesn’t cost them anything to include coverage for example of expensive branded prescription drugs. Their only incentive to keep costs down is to remain competitive, but in reality there really isn’t that much competition (similar insurance premiums) amongst the few providers available in a particular geographic healthcare market.

Lack of competition and the ability to raise rates to cover increasing costs will eventually make healthcare insurance unaffordable for businesses to provide, for individuals to consider, and for government to adequately subsidize.  At that point healthcare reform will meet a crossroad of needing to legislate cost controls (e.g., limit insurance rate increases) or be forced to a single payer system. Both options will impose reductions in coverage and costs that will seem draconian by today’s standards of care.  Expensive procedure and branded prescription drugs for which there are less expensive therapeutic options or that can not demonstrate real cost benefit will be first on the hit list.

Unfortunately, a real opportunity for healthcare reform will have been missed as cost cutting becomes the quick fix method of choice for reestablishing sanity to healthcare coverage.  Incentives to dramatically reduce costs will be stronger than those to increase efficiency and leverage cost benefit.  Prospects for efficiencies driven by electronic medical records will stall out as funding is seen more as an expense rather than an investment. Wellness programs and personalized medicine will be wishful thinking as they flounder in development without a chance to mature and deliver the anticipated cost saving benefits.

Despite pleading from the president and state governors, current healthcare reform initiatives will not keep insurance premiums in check  or  moderate increasing costs and ensure long term healthcare affordability.  Pharmaceutical companies will definitely benefit from the  lack of  health insurance competition and a healthcare market with no incentives or serious mandates to reduce or control increasing costs but may be among the first and hardest hit when controlling healthcare costs becomes a priority.

mike@pharmareform.com

Healthcare Market Perceptions create Expectations for Pharmaceutical Companies

The pharmaceutical industry has created market perceptions, right or wrong, that have been transformed into market expectations.   Like for any business meeting market expectations is a critical success factor for the pharmaceutical industry.  There are however, some expectations that are ill founded and meeting these unreasonable expectations could mean financial disaster to pharmaceutical companies.

Reasonable market expectations are best addressed by the consistent actions and behaviors of the company over time.  Unreasonable market expectations, on the other hand, require understanding of the source, empathy, patience, and clear consistent communications to help the market better understand why some of their expectations are not practical or not in the best interest of patients.

The industry must effectively demonstrate that they are delivering on the reasonable expectations, before the market will be ready to accept explanations for why the unreasonable expectations can not or should not be met.  So what expectations are reasonable and which ones might be considered unreasonable?

Reasonable market expectations of pharmaceutical companies:

  • To bring safe and effective innovative new drugs to the market at fair prices
  • To not have to pay premium prices for products which can not be clinically differentiated in a meaningful way that matters (comparative value)
  • To moderate pricing based on substantiation of the pricing rationale with data and clinical information that demonstrate the value of the drug treatment
  • To make certain physicians and patients understand the risks associated with product use. Never putting patients at undue risk for the sake of selling more products.
  • To assure regulatory compliance in development, manufacturing, and commercialization (marketing and sales). Respect that prescription drug regulations are intended to protect patients from undue harm.
  • To act with integrity in support of legal and ethical business practices
  • To be transparent in financial support of societies, patient advocacy groups, and other information sources so as to not secure deceptive implied endorsements for products
  • To be forthcoming and take decisive action to protect patients when concerns for safety arise, even if it means a temporary negative impact on sales
  • To hold executives accountable for their organizations actions and behaviors

Unreasonable market expectations:

  • To sell innovative new products at generic drug prices
  • To operate pharmaceutical companies as “non-profit” organizations
  • To not advertise or promote products for appropriate uses
  • To rely on medical school and professional society medical education programs to educate physicians about drug treatment, especially new products
  • To execute clinical studies or access clinical expertise without paying investigators, advisors, and consultants reasonable fees (absolute “conflict- of- interest”  free)
  • To develop treatments for small patient populations and not charge prices which allow for a profitable return of investment
  • To blindly write checks for product liability claims when the risks have been clearly delineated in product information, advertising, and promotion.

Doing a good job of meeting the reasonable expectations will mitigate the importance of and insistence on many of the unreasonable expectations in the evolving new healthcare market.

mike@pharmareform.com

Healthcare Reform Impact on Prescription Drugs

Healthcare reform and the mandate for insurance coverage for all US citizens would appear to represent new growth opportunities for the pharmaceutical industry.  This can be true for pharmaceutical companies that begin to adapt to the realities of this evolving new healthcare market.  Nothing in the current legislation seems to be dramatically different than what has been discussed and debated now for months….no surprises.  Also, keep in mind, the plan will take years to unfold and become a reality.  That doesn’t mean pharmaceutical companies can or should wait.  In fact, the evolving new market will mean significant  changes will be necessary to the traditional pharmaceutical business model which will also take time for companies to implement and execute.

Despite the upsides of potentially more than 30 million new prescription drug customers and the closing of the doughnut hole for seniors, here are some implications the industry must prepare for:

  • The market for prescription drugs will progressively change from healthcare providers and patients to payers, insurers, and managed plans
  • Payers (insurance companies and government/CMS programs) will have to become increasingly cost conscious to ensure sustainable affordability of the reform
  • Generic drugs will become the workhorse for prescription drug plans, including being used in place of branded products that fail to demonstrate meaningful clinical benefits over generic drug options
  • There will be tremendous cost saving incentives for the market to push for and demand a  clear regulatory path for generic biologics/biosimilar drugs
  • To secure premium pricing, newly launched branded pharmaceuticals will have to meet an even higher standard for proving their value over other therapeutic options, including generic drugs
  • Information technology, including e-prescribing, will be employed to a much greater extent to help manage compliance with drug formularies and control costs.
  • Traditional sales and marketing will have less influence on product availability at the prescription drug plan level and even less influence on physician prescribing practices

Pharmaceutical companies that anticipate these new dynamics can make the necessary adjustments and determine what they need to do to remain competitive in this evolving new healthcare market. More on what to do in the next posting.

mike@pharmareform.com

Pharmaceutical Pricing Practices Must Change to Reestablish Market Trust

Prescription drug prices are a major source of distrust, frustration, and irritation for everybody in the healthcare market except pharmaceutical industry executives.  Payers and insurers find it difficult to justify paying for expensive branded products when they know less expensive generic drugs would probably work just fine for many patients.  Physicians struggle to explain to their patients that despite the high price, the brand they have selected is the best product for their particular situation.  Patients struggle to pay for the biggest out-of-pocket healthcare expense they have, often deciding whether to buy food, split their pills, or go without their medication to make it through the month.  With unemployment hovering around 10%,  more people are without insurance, making prescription drugs even more unaffordable for many.

The pharmaceutical industry has been totally insensitive to these market /patient issues as they continue to raise prices on many of their most popular, highest volume drugs.  The Congress’ Government Accountability Office calling the increases “extraordinary” with prices for many brands doubling from 2000-2008 while some increased substantially higher yet.  A recent study also revealed that branded prescription drugs increased 9.3% when the CPI was running -0.3% during the same period (2008-2009).

The industry response to the market concerns about high drug prices hasn’t changed for as long as I can remember (at least 30 years I’ve been in the industry).  They continue to highlight the dismal research success rate (1 in 10,000 discovery compounds makes it to the market), blame the high cost of R & D, and the need to recover their high costs in a short period of time as the reasons for their high prices.  Nobody in the healthcare market has ever bought that rationale for high prices and I don’t think that is going to change.  More recently the the industry has tried to also deflect high price accusations with stories about lower overall drug prices (which includes over 70% of prescriptions being filled with less expensive generics), drug costs as a diminishing share of healthcare cost (also because of generic drugs use and the out of control other healthcare costs), and claiming their free samples and the industry’s token prescription assistance programs make the high prices more affordable for everybody.

“What the market will bear” pricing strategies have led to unsubstantiated initial high product launch prices (relative to other therapeutic options, adding little or no real clinical benefits) and subsequent price increases which often outpace inflation.

Pricing is a marketing responsibility with huge corporate financial implications.  The internal pressures to set the absolute highest possible price to achieve revenue and profit targets can be intense.  In many cases it becomes a very impersonal, quantitative spreadsheet modeling exercise providing executives with the comfort that forecast numbers (think quarterly revenues and profits) will be delivered.  More often than not, the price leader is the baseline metric against which new product pricing is evaluated, whether or not the new product has real clinical benefits over the price leader.

Price increases are taken as needed to make the financial numbers or to make the numbers look better?  You may even be able to do two small increases in the same year to get a bigger annual increase rather than taking it all at once.  With all the patients currently on a chronic product it is unlikely they will switch just because of the price increase and formularies are not likely to throw the product off just because of an increase,  so the thinking is ….go for it.

So what to do as a marketer?

The industry must start being more market sensitive and value based in its pricing practices.  Eventually, the market will force this issue as cost management becomes an increasing priority for the evolving new healthcare market.  But it shouldn’t take the market imposed price intoilerance to make this change.  Remember the idea is to reestablish market trust.

So, what is the real value and can you substantiate the value of your product against other therapeutic options?  This is not rationalizing small clinically meaningless differences.  It is time to “show me the data” and be more realistic about the value of your products relative to other therapeutic options.  If a generic drug can do the same as your product for most patients, how is it that you can charge 5 or 10 times the generic drug price and say you have “fairly priced” your product?  Can you really expect insurers or patients to pay the equivalent of the price of a new home in exchange for a drug that gives them merely a chance (not a guarantee) of maybe living a few more weeks or months?  Have you really priced your product “fairly” and consistent with its value…as perceived by the market?

For marketers with products that have clinically meaningful benefits that clearly exceed those of other therapeutic options, reestablishing trust comes by setting prices that are considered by the market to be consistent with the product value.  Product value should be proven if the benefits are real and meaningful.  So again, “show me the data” that patients will be able to relate to and appreciate.  Patients and insurers do not mind paying for what they value.  They mind feeling like they are being ripped off and don’t have a choice.

The biggest challenge marketers will face trying to execute this market sensitive, value based pricing strategy is the organizational pressure from executives and senior managers who have expectations for continuing the financial windfalls of “what the market will bear “ pricing strategies.  Unfortunately, I don’t expect many pharmaceutical industry executives to embrace this concept until the market forces them to consider making the change.  It will take strong marketing managers to help organizations realize how important this painful but simple change can make a huge difference in how companies are perceived.    Regardess of whatever else companies do to improve market trust,  without a change in pricing practices, reestablishing market trust is not possible.

mike@pharmareform.com