drug-pricing-ethics-atenga

I strongly believe that there has to be ethics in pricing. Vendors that provide lifesaving drugs or products cannot jack up the price the way Martin Shkreli (5000% increase) did or the way Gilead Sciences prices their drugs ($1,000 a pill for a minimum 86 days treatment). As a patient, I don't want to know, and I should not have to be exposed to, the choice of "not eating" to afford a drug or dying because I cannot afford it. It is simply unethical for these companies to exploit the vulnerable in their quest for profits. Other market verticals that exploits the vulnerable are funeral homes and casket manufactures. They take the opportunity to exploit the survivors when they are at their most vulnerable state of mind with insanely-high and ever-increasing prices.     

Sometimes, however, high prices are the ethical solution.  A few years back, we helped a medical device company to triple their prices. Unethical? No, for this reason -  the device helped improve outcomes by some 50% for certain transplantations. The competing products were simple and cheap, and the company's product was very advanced - yet they had no pricing power, and priced theirs similarly to the simple and cheap competition. With $65m invested, the company had yet to produce a profit, and were about to go out of business unless they could price their product to become profitable. If they folded, thousands or tens of thousands of people would die every year because they were withheld the benefits the product provided. So the ethical thing to do was to increase (in this case triple) the price of their lifesaving product. 

With hopefully not vulnerable regards,

Per Sjofors
Founder/CEO
Atenga Inc

 

 
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AuthorPer Sjofors