Thursday, February 2, 2017

BioPharma Reacts to Trump

Washington, DC

On Tuesday, President Donald J. Trump met with BioPharma industry lobbyists and leaders to discuss his plans for the industry, as well as "streamlining" and deregulating the FDA.  Reporters from C&EN Onion have reached out to industry leaders to get their impressions on the meeting:

John Maraganore, CEO, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals 

Dr. Maraganore stated he was happy he and the president could "see eye to eye" on regulatory issues.  He expressed hope that Alnylam would be able to continue development of its halted blockbuster amyloidosis candidate revusiran.  He commented "I'm glad the president is willing to work with industry on burdensome regulatory requirements.  Why should the pedantry of NDA paperwork, or sky-high subject mortality over placebo in phase III completely derail what is otherwise a breakthrough innovation?"

Ian Read, CEO, Pfizer Inc.

Trump called on industry to continue innovation while offering products at lower prices, "What I want is... we need to get lower prices."  In a response, Read enthusiastically announced a price cutting initiative coincident with a rebranding of several major Pfizer drugs.  Namely, the company will spin out a new, lower cost formulation of its hugely successful statin drug, Lipitor™.  The new product, Lipitor Lite™, will sell for half the current label price.  Read commented, "By cutting some of our drugs with baking soda, Pfizer will be able to offer buyers similar drugs at significantly lower prices."

Mark Timney, CEO, Purdue Pharma

Timney stated that the president's desire for lower cost pain management treatments, coupled with relaxed regulations would allow Purdue's formulations business unit to pursue alternative therapeutic combinations.  According to Timney, "one such alternative we are investigating is repackaged black tar heroin.  Although it is uncertain how Mr. Trump's desire for US-based  manufacturing will impact this initiative, as the majority of heroin is currently produced in Afghanistan."  

As of press time, Trump had introduced a modified plan to fit all FDA regulations on one side of a 3x5 note card.