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Day one at JP Morgan ‘19: Mega-deals, accessibility, and price gouging (by hotels) | Medical Marketing and Media

Pricing and access
As more innovative, and expensive, treatments are launched, the question is how to pay for them? In a panel on drug pricing hosted by Endpoints, Spark Pharmaceutical CEO Jeff Marrazzo discussed the company’s payment model for Luxturna, its one-time, $850,000 treatment for a rare form of inherited blindness. It includes a efficacy-based rebate program, cutting out treatment centers to work directly with commercial payers, and collaborating with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to set up an installments-based program. Patients have yet to pay out of pocket for the treatment, he said.

Later Monday morning, Novartis CEO Vasant Narasimhan referenced an ICER report that found its gene therapy for spinal muscular atrophy would be cost-effective if priced between $1.6 million and $5.4 million, depending on the benchmark per quality year of life. “That demonstrates how transformational this medicine is,” he said. However, it also raised the question of how the healthcare system, not to mention individual patients, would be able to afford such treatments.

Conference-based price gouging
Novartis’ CEO also addressed the lack of public trust in pharma. Over the past year, “we, as an industry, have fallen quite far in terms of our reputation,” Narasimhan said, mostly thanks to consistent, and often significant, price hikes.

While Narasimhan pledged to do his best to “regain the trust of society,” few actionable solutions were offered to bring costs to patients down. (To be fair, the audience largely consisted of investors). However, price gouging was a popular topic of conversation among attendees — but the hospitality industry was blamed.

Attending JP Morgan is notoriously expensive — hotel rooms are priced at many times their normal rate as thousands flock into the city — but this year struck many as particularly egregious. “They wanted to charge $900 for a room at the Holiday Inn!” a fellow attendee told me incredulously.

Reports also circulated of hotels charging $21.25 for a cup of coffee, $300 for access to a lobby table, and $30 an hour for the privilege of standing in the lobby. It was enough to make people prickly, although the irony of the situation didn’t go unnoticed.

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Day one at JP Morgan ‘19: Mega-deals, accessibility, and price gouging (by hotels) – News – MM&M – Medical Marketing and Media.

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