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.

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  • Re:Allergan drug pricing. They eliminated the COB benefit card at year end 2018 for Rapaflo, so instead of paying $20 for a three month supply, it is now $799 to $950. That’s really a BIG help.

  • I’m no lawyer, but I think when it comes to contract law, “We stuck to the spirit” is not really a good defense when you’re charged with breaching the letter.

  • “Won him praise” from who. They claim to have ” social contract “. Do they have any ” moral contract”. My guess none except to make sure their bonuses are secured through revenue increase that would come from price hikes. They have and will not have affordable drugs for masses that could give them much higher revenue increases.

    Is there something called moral or social responsibility?

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