Pharmaceutical industry, under scrutiny for prices, has history of big political wins
Soaring drug prices already had customers unhappy. The pharmaceutical industry hardly needed a new poster boy to add volume and passion to the complaints.
But that’s just what it got last week when Martin Shkreli, the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, made a name for himself after he hiked the price of a drug for AIDS and cancer patients by more than 4,000 percent. Now, some lawmakers are scrutinizing another company, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, for increasing the price of two heart drugs this year.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, acutely aware of its image problem – 72 percent of Americans say prescription drug costs are unreasonable, according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll – promptly distanced itself from Turing (whose CEO has now said he will lower the price of Daraprim, the drug involved in the controversy). And the powerful industry trade group itself is in reboot mode with a new president and CEO, Stephen Ubl.