Congressional Klieg Lights Could Give Way to Restructuring of Biopharma
Attributing recent reductions in certain U.S. prescription drug prices to intense congressional scrutiny rather than a biopharma industry commitment to affordability, Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) said Congress must put more guardrails in place and restructure how the industry does business. “I don’t trust the industry to do the right thing when we’re not looking at you with these Klieg lights,” he told executives from Amgen Inc., Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals and Novartis AG Oct. 1 during the second day of a House Oversight Committee hearing on drug prices. Whether a promise or a threat, Sarbanes comments align with analysts’ thoughts on what may lay ahead for drug prices after the November election. For instance, RBC Capital Markets LLC analyst Randall Stanicky said he expects more aggressive drug price reform, as well as corporate tax reform that would have broader market implications, if former Vice President Joe Biden is elected president and Democrats gain a strong majority in both the House and Senate.