In a scathing critique, the chair of NICE, the UK's health watchdog, takes pharma to task over ceo pay and marketing costs, which he says prompt drugmakers to overprice their medications.
The remarks by Michael Rawlins, who heads the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, came after critics last week accused NICE of 'barbarism' for refusing to approve expensive new kidney drugs on the grounds they were not cost effective. Background. In an interview with The Observer, Rawlins warned of 'perverse incentives' to hike the prices of new drugs - including linking the pay of pharma ceo's to stock prices, which in turn relied on keeping profits healthy.
"We are told we are being mean all the time, but what nobody mentions is why the drugs are so expensive," he said.
However, a spokesman for the Association for the British Pharmaceutical Industry tells The Telegraph that the trade group is "not aware of any attempts to fix prices in line with profits or individuals' earnings" and added that in real terms prices have fallen by 21 percent in Britain over the past 10 years...Rawlins does not seem to have taken into account the huge contribution the pharmaceuticals industry makes to public healthcare and the fact that it is always looking for ways to reduce the prices of the drugs it sells."