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Botox Maker Allergan Takes Stand Against Price Increases

One thing people hate to see is price increases. Whether it’s your favorite beer, snack or toxin—like Botox.
Unbeknown to most patients, providers are often times left with no other choice than to raise product prices to keep up with large manufacturer price increases.
While Cosmetic Skin Institute has remained steadfast, not increasing prices in 10 years, manufacturers haven’t helped much—until now.
Allergan (maker of Botox) is trying to ease the pain of both provider offices and consumers by stating they will not raise prices more than once a year.
Allergan’s scope is larger than just manufacturing Botox, but it’s good news for people who do receive injections of the popular fine line and wrinkle reducer.
In a recent blog published on Allergan’s website, CEO and president Brett Saunders states that the company is making a social contract with patients.
In the blog, Saunders discusses a long-standing agreement that the health care industry has had with patients.
“The health care industry has had a long-standing unwritten social contract with patients, physicians, policy makers and the public at large,” said Saunders.
“In this social contract patients understood that making new medicines required significant investment. At the same time companies, doing the hard, long and risky work of bringing new medicines to market, understood that they had to price medicines in a way that made them accessible to patients while providing sufficient profit to encourage future investment.”
Saunders goes on to state that the unwritten social contract of old has been violated—undoubtedly referring to the unpopular EpiPen price increase.
“Those who have taken aggressive or predatory price increases have violated this social contract!”
Saunders’ new social contract promise includes his stand to “take price increases no more than once per year and, when we do, they will be limited to single-digit percentage increases.”

I think the entire biopharmaceutical sector needs to take a step back, look in the mirror and figure out how do we discipline ourselves and self-police ourselves to be able to balance investing in research and development and innovation—and pricing our medicines responsibly.

–Brett Saunders

“Allergan is going to be a different kind of company that’s going to put the social contract with patients and physicians in front of all of our business decisions. And in doing so, we can run one of the most successful growth pharma companies in our industry.”
It will be interesting to see how this move impacts other pharmaceutical companies and if any others are willing to make similar social contract promises.
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