Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX) has been accused of cheating hospitals by giving them 30 % less than what they deserve on all drug purchases. Recent reports suggest that the reputable pharmaceuticals company has yet to deliver on its promise to cut up to 30 % of all drug prices. The promise was made to hospitals that purchase drugs for heart condition patients. But, this is yet to be realized forcing hospitals to cry foul. The hospitals have expressed disappointment over the pharmaceutical company’s failure to honor its promise. They have also bemoaned the high prices in medical drugs which could have been reduced if the price cuts had been implemented.
The Outcry By Hospitals
A good number of prices for drugs that are meant for heart condition patients were expected to have been reduced by up to 30 %. Some of the drugs which are understood to be in the list include Isuprel and Nitropress which are both used to treat a variety of heart conditions. But, the prices of the two drugs soared without warning. This made it very difficult for most patients to afford the drugs. Hospitals had hoped that Valeant Pharmaceuticals was going to cut the prices of the drugs to help the patients manage to buy them. But, this is yet to be honored by the company. The hospitals had hoped that Congress was going to help to sort out the mess by intervening in the situation. But, this is yet to be realized as the pharmaceutical company has gone mute on the issue.
Having spent over $5 million on the two drugs for patients with heart conditions, Cleveland Clinic had high hopes of benefiting from the price cuts. But, the nation’s top heart condition hospital is yet to realize its benefits. Others include Mayo Clinic, John’s Hopkins and New York Presbyterian who are yet to see the reality of the proposed price cuts.
The CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals last week appeared in a senate hearing where he promised to look into the matter despite continued complaints from hospitals. Considering that the company has continued to be mute on the subject, Senator Collins has requested the firm’s major investor to look into the matter.
The Pharmaceutical’s Strict Requirements
The Canadian company had last week said it had offered a discount of 30 % on certain drugs through the MedAssets and Premier, the two distributors that had been chosen by the company. But, the senate hearing which took place recently have brought to light a number of gaps in the whole process. One of the distributors, Premier, declared that some of the discounts are too minimal to be reasonable.
The company has also stated that the difficult conditions under which the drugs are to be obtained account for the distributor’s failure to fulfill the promise. As it stands, only one hospital has been able to access the discounts despite the initial number of shortlisted recipients being 2500 and this is only for Nitropress.