Half a million-dollar bonus for cancer drug price increase

WHAT NOW: The idea that most pharma companies are here to serve patients is a canard. Pharma CEO’s serve themselves with big salaries tied to drug prices and keeping drugs from coming off patent.

On Wednesday, three pharmaceutical executives, including former Celgene CEO Mark Alles, testified on drug pricing for the House Oversight Committee. While at the company, Alles saw a massive increase in the price of the cancer drug Revlimid — and Porter broke down just what it got Alles in return.

Porter started her takedown by asking Alles if he knew what a Revlimid pill cost in 2005: $215, she reminded him with the help of a whiteboard. And by the time Alles left the company late last year, after its sale to Bristol-Myers Squibb, a single Revlimid pill cost $763. “Did the drug get substantially more effective in that time? Did cancer patients need fewer pills?” Porter questioned, trying to figure out why Celgene upped the price. Alles answered by saying Revlimid proved effective in more patients. “So you discovered more patients who might benefit from paying $763 a pill?” Porter rhetorically responded, outlining how the average senior in her district couldn’t even afford one pill.

Porter then moved on to tear apart the $13 million Alles made in 2017 as Celgene’s CEO. “It’s 200 times the average American’s income and 360 times what the average senior makes on Social Security,” Porter noted. She then reminded Alles just how he made “half a million dollars, personally, just by tripling the price of Revlimid.” “The drug didn’t get any better, the cancer patients didn’t get any better, you just got better at making money,” Porter concluded.


Now you were mentioning the goodwill that Pharma has received because of COVID? FLUSH.

Pharma companies all have fancy company pledges in their lobbies but it probably should read that “but our first customer is Wall Street.

What’s happening now in the CPG sector is that the basic premise of business, to make money, is being challenged as 76% of consumers are switching brands.

Pharma has pretty much given the middle finger to everyone around drug prices and they continue to do what is best for shareholders not patients. Excessive CEO compensation is a huge problem and it’s getting more notice by shareholders.

The CEO of AbbVie admitted that his compensation is tied to keeping their number one drug, Humira, off-patent. This is a drug that has seen yearly price increases at a time when it’s facing more competition.

I still want to be the change I want to see but I understand that no pharma company would hire me because I’ll give them a conscious and make them focus of what’s best for patients, not Wall Street.