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J&J to reveal drug price increases next month

Published on 16/01/17 at 10:21am

Next month, Johnson & Johnson will reveal the average price increases of its prescription drugs in a move to increase its transparency with patients; the information due to be released by the company will include the list price and net price.

Joaquin Duato, head of the company's prescription drug business explained: "We hope that [disclosing average price increases] can create a better understanding of the industry and....ultimately improve patient access to medicines." He added that, because the firm has kept any prices increases below 10% for several years, revenues are unlikely to be affected.

J&J follows a number of its rivals in the industry, which has recently seen a wider move towards greater transparency. Allergan’s CEO Brent Saunders in September outlined his company’s “social contract” with its patients, focussing predominantly on pricing, while in December, Novo Nordisk committed to capping any of its price increases to single digits.

Price has long been a major issue in the industry, but while J&J hopes the move will improve relationships with its patients, some analysts are sceptical, believing it to be a thinly-veiled attempt to distract from greater price increases elsewhere, though it may push other companies to follow suit.

"They let you look not so bad by camouflaging your big price increases for drugs where you face little competition behind the small increases for drugs where you face strong competition," said Erik Gordon, professor and pharmaceuticals analyst at University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.

Matt Fellows

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