Amid ongoing furor over prescription drug pricing, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) chief executive Len Schleifer has sometimes gleefully adopted the role of an industry contrarian, openly poking other companies for price hikes. His ongoing penchant for addressing the topic, in fact, gives him the appearance of a Jiminy Cricket lecturing pharma’s Pinocchio.
But Schleifer, who is prone to monologues, is not an indiscriminate naysayer. We spoke with him at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare conference about recent price hikes that Sanofi (SNY) — a Regeneron partner — took on a drug, the balance between innovation and accessibility, a controversial cost-effectiveness watchdog, and policy solutions to high prices. This is an edited conversation.