Updated on 23 January 2013
Its time to change - What can pharma do to fix its reputation?
Singapore: Leading global nonprofit organization, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), has highlighted that that the key to repairing the drug industry's poor is to change its policy of gouging prices for medicines, including those used to treat HIV/AIDS.
The response from AHF was with respect to a Forbes.com story titled, 'Pharma's Reputation Continues to Suffer-What Can Be Done To Fix It?' and a recent Patient View Quarterly survey, which showed that the pharma industry's reputation is the worst among all healthcare industries.
According to Forbes.com, the Patient View survey reveals that the discontent with the pharma industry is,due to a lack of fair pricing policies leading to unseemly profits.
Mr Michael Weinstein, president, AHF, said that, "Pharma should hear the message loud and clear; its policy of gouging patients over their health is backfiring. The fact that a company like Gilead Sciences, a company whose business model is to gouge government programs and people with HIV/AIDS in order to maximize profits, is the best pharma has to offer clearly shows far this industry has fallen."
Stribild, which is Gilead's four-in-one, US FDA approved, combination pill, is the most expensive AIDS first line treatment on the market at $28,500 per patient, per year. This drug is 35 percent higher than the price of their best-selling treatment and is more than what most HIV/AIDS patients earn every year.
"If pharma truly cares about patients and its customers, the industry as a whole should dramatically change its pricing policies," added Mr Weinstein.