Thursday, January 15, 2009

PhRMA's "Charm Offensive" is Once Again in High Dungeon. . . .

Do go read the rest of this AP story -- but here are a few snort-inducing tidbits:

Pharma to Democrats: We're here to help

. . . .even as the former Republican Congressman pledged to work with labor unions and other left-leaning groups, he continued to warn against federal controls on drug prices, particularly in the Medicare drug benefit. . . .

Like many Democrats, President-elect Obama has criticized the Medicare drug benefit as unduly favorable to drugmakers. He supports allowing the federal government to directly negotiate drug prices, which advocates say would cut drug spending for both the government and seniors. Under the current system, insurers and pharmacy care companies negotiate as middlemen between the government and drugmakers.

Tauzin cautioned that a fight over that program could derail larger reform efforts.

"If we get into old wars like that we're not going to be able to move forward," he said. . . .

Pharma's cheerleading for health reform comes less than a week before Democrats take control of both the White House and Congress for the first time in 15 years. . . .

Does PhRMA's new president (former Rep. Billy Tauzin) fancy himself -- as still being in control of any legislative agenda?

"We" won't be able to move forward? Who, exactly is the "we" here, Mr. Tauzin?

There is no chance that Big-Pharma can prevent federally-reimbursed open-market price negotiations/bidding on drugs, by fiat, any longer, Mr. Tauzin.

Consider that just a month ago, PhRMA's Rep. (and Schering-Plough's CEO) Fred Hassan offered a lament -- about being "left out" by the reformers' efforts -- "we need first a seat at the table" -- now, you Mr. Tauzin, say "we" won't be able to "move forward"? My reaction? Ummm. . . .

"Not. A. Chance."

Wake up, and smell the coffee, PhRMA. You'll need to be asking, politely, as any supplicant would -- not faux-dictating, as a demi-god might.


Anonymous said...


I'm afraid that it's game, set, match in PhRMA and SPs favor. Just look at the info coming out on David Dorsey as Chief Counsel, and possibly Jane Henney as FDA Commissioner. Plus a lot of other things that have come out in the press in the last few days. Including the info that's come out in NEJM indicating HOW approval of asenapine will be justified (inappropriately in my opinion) and how it will likely be marketed (inappropriately in my opinion).

As for shareholders, I suspect that large institutional investors with good information and knowledge and possibly others will sell on a time horizon before the the s### really hits the fan as far as liability and drops in stock price and it'll be the sucker buyers (including large private investors similar to people like Steve from Pharmalot) that will take the hit.

I'll have to come back and explain the basis for my opinions when I get a chance.


Condor said...

Salmon -- I will wait for the explanation -- and I respect your experienced opinions, here -- but I will also wait to see who Mr. Obama actually picks to lead FDA, before deciding that Schering has won anything here.

Add to the mix that it will be a Democratic Congress, for the foreseeable future. . . .

We'll see.