SAN FRANCISCO — Earlier this month, numerous drug makers began raising prices after taking a hiatus last summer under political pressure from President Trump. Even so, the vast majority of recent price hikes were low single-digit increases, although there were a couple of notable exceptions. One was Allergan (AGN), whose chief executive, Brent Saunders, famously declared in September 2016 that his company would keep a “social contract” by ensuring price hikes — after paying rebates and discounts — would remain below double digits and not exceed inflation.
The move won him praise, but the newest increases suggested the company was, nonetheless, pushing the proverbial envelope. STAT spoke briefly with Saunders at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference about the decision and his take on the larger pricing problem. This is an edited version.