Sept 8 Pfizer Inc's chief executive on
Thursday said recent proposals by Democratic presidential
candidate Hillary Clinton to curb "unjustified" U.S. drug prices
would dampen investment in innovative new drugs and ultimately
"(They) would be very negative for innovation," Ian Read
said in webcast from the annual Wells Fargo healthcare
conference in Boston. He said Clinton's proposals, if ever
approved, would ultimately lead to a one-payer government system
of price controls on prescription medicines.
Critics of the pharmaceutical industry have long argued that
drugmakers unfairly raise prices at will, making their products
increasingly less accessible to patients. Drugmakers counter
that it can cost $1 billion dollars or more to develop the
typical drug and say they need to be reimbursed for the costs
Read said he did not believe price controls like those seen
in Europe would occur in the United States.
"A lot depends on the composition of the Senate and House,"
he added, referring to whether Republicans continue to dominate
at least one branch of Congress and can be a counterweight to a
potential Clinton White House.
Clinton last week said that if elected to the White House
she would create an oversight panel to protect U.S. consumers
from large price hikes on long-available, lifesaving drugs and
to import alternative treatments if necessary, adding to her
pledges to rein in overall drug prices.
She said the oversight panel would be able to levy fines and
impose penalties on manufacturers when there has been an
unjustified "outlier" price increase on a long-available or
generic drug, meaning an especially high increase.
(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson; Editing by Tom Brown)