Drugmakers See Innovation Justifying Further Price Rises

Published Online: January 22, 2014

As U.S. consumers are asked to shoulder more prescription drug costs, drugmakers say prices for brand-name medicines will keep rising, mainly because use of their products reduces other healthcare costs.

Switzerland-based Roche Holding AG has a growth rate above the industry average due to its "high-quality" products that command "better prices, with fewer price cuts," Chief Financial Officer, Alan Hippe said, speaking at the annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco earlier this week.

As long as Roche, maker of drugs like Herceptin for breast cancer, can prove that its new therapies work better than existing drugs, it can maintain pricing trends, Hippe said.

The company's leukemia drug Gazyva, priced at around $41,000 for a course of therapy, was the first to receive approval last year under a new U.S. regulatory program for "breakthrough" therapies that show promise in early testing. The Food and Drug Administration launched the pathway in response to scientific advances, especially targeted therapies designed to work for those with certain genetic mutations.

Read the full story here:http://reut.rs/1anjOpA

Source: Reuters