Pfizer CEO: Clinton's plan to lower drug costs is bad for consumers

Hillary Clinton's plan to monitor and lower the cost of prescription drugs will hinder investments into new drugs and negatively impact consumers Pfizer's CEO Ian Read said Thursday during a webcast at the Wells Fargo's healthcare conference in Boston.

Mr. Read believes that the proposal — if implemented — would represent a move toward a one-payer government system of price controls on prescription medicines, reported Reuters. "[It] would be very negative for innovation," he said.

While critics of the drug industry believe drugmakers intentionally raise prices and decrease the accessibility of medications, drug companies argue that it is extremely expensive to develop a new drug and they need to be reimbursed for the development costs and risks, according to the report.

Ms. Clinton's plan to lower drug prices calls for the creation of an oversight panel that would seek to prevent price hikes on life-saving drugs that have long been on the market. The panel could impose fines or penalties on drugmakers who made unjustified price increases. Ms. Clinton also mentioned plans to import alternative treatment options if needed.

Mr. Read highlighted the lack of transparency surrounding drug prices, as pharmacy benefit managers require drug companies to pay confidential rebates to get their medications placed in insurance company formularies. He believes drug companies and these types of pharmaceutical middlemen will eventually team to create a more transparent pricing system, according to the report.

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