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CLSA Wire

Forbes: Opinion: How Bad Is The Drug Industry’s Reputation After Pricing Kerfuffles?

By John Osborn, David Beier and and Merv Turner | Forbes

Oct. 13, 2016

Pretty darn bad. It is so bad that stalwart Republican and MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough this week enthusiastically embraced Columbia professor and Earth Institute director Jeffrey Sachs’ views on the outrage of Gilead Sciences and its pricing of the breakthrough hepatitis C drugs Sovaldi and Harvoni.

To be fair, we share Joe’s concerns over entitlement spending. He is far from the only one who has been exercised about the strain on the public treasury from the high cost of new treatments; the Senate Finance Committee held hearings and issued a critical report in 2015. Still, one might otherwise expect him to support an industry that has been the source of extraordinary biomedical innovation over the years–just think about what it means to offer patients a cure for hepatitis C, and not only for the patients but for the healthcare system, and the favorable cost impact of avoiding hospitalization and treatment that might include liver cancer or a liver transplant.

 But we are not writing to debate the wisdom of specific pricing practices (for the record, we note that we all worked for firms in the industry, and John’s law firm represents Gilead Sciences in certain matters). We do not write to defend companies like Turing or Mylan that have increased prices without offering real innovation or value added. Instead, we write to remind readers that in order to reap the benefits of innovation, companies must offer investors an opportunity for an outsized return when they succeed on a grand scale.

Read the full article at Forbes.