Everyone, it seems, has issues with big pharma. From obscene profits to outrageous compensation for CEOs pharma has seems to have the attitude of a big corporation who doesn’t care. The question that everyone seems to be avoiding is “can pharma serve both Wall Street and patients?”.
Pharma continues to donate a lot of money to the Republican Party and in particular Mitch McConnell. So far this year he has received well over $200,000 from just about every pharma company in the U.S. It’s well known that Mitch has argued against any pharma pricing reform so obviously money does buy politicians.
Pharma companies have argued that they need profit to develop new drugs but that’s a canard. What they really need money for is buying other companies. Like a drug addict needs drugs, big pharma needs new drugs to sell to please Wall Street.
I thought this trend would slow down but it has every indication of continuing this year. The problem is that new drugs tend to command higher prices to pay for expensive acquisitions. This means patients are going to have to pay more for health insurance and co-pays.
So what can pharma do to win back a public that is skeptical of their intentions?
1ne: No pharma CEO should be compensated for more than four million dollars. If they can’t live on that something is dreadfully wrong plus it should never be about the money in healthcare.
2wo: Pharma needs to join hands to ensure that people who can’t afford their drugs are able to get the drugs easily and without hassle. Every pharma website should include a callout on information for drug price assistance.
3hree: Every pharma employer should have the responsibility to put patients first. They should be measured on this responsibility every year.
4our: Weed out employees who jump from one pharma company to another to enhance their personal brand while producing very little in return.
5ive: Companies that are fined for illegal marketing should replace individuals responsible and they should not be permitted to work in pharma again.
6ix: Financial contributions to political organizations or politicians should be forbidden.
7even: Pharma CEOs should not remain silent on social issues that affect healthcare. Not one pharma CO has stepped forward to talk about the politicization of the FDA and that’s a disgrace.
8ight: Every effort should be made to change a culture of “back-to-back meetings and processes that slow decision making. Managers spend more time in meetings than actually doing their jobs.
If you remain silent you’re complicit. As I have said here many times before pharma companies have gone from a healthcare resource to big business. Yes, people with health insurance are somewhat happy with their insurance but when they get serious medical issues they are thrown into an environment of unknowns because of high drug prices.
Will one CEO stand up and lead or will he/she remain silent as they bank their huge paychecks?