Regeneron’s CEO has been outspoken about drug price hikes, but one of his company’s drugs just got more expensive

  • Regeneron’s CEO, Leonard Schleifer, once criticized arbitrary drug price increases by pharmaceutical companies.
  • But in July, the company’s eczema drug price increased by 3%.
  • Regeneron said Sanofi had final decision-making authority on pricing for the drug.
  • Sanofi defended the price increase, saying it is below the rate of medical inflation and will be the only price change this year.
  • The increase comes a few weeks after the Trump administration debuted its drug-pricing plan and President Donald Trump said he expected to see “massive” price cuts taken by drugmakers.

Regeneron CEO Leonard Schleifer once stated in a heated debate between pharmaceutical executives that he was not a fan of price hikes on prescription drugs.

“You can’t say you’ve set a drug at a fair price [when it’s launched] and then have price increases. You can’t have it both ways. It’s covering up for a lack of innovation,” Schleifer said during the panel in December 2016.

But at the start of July, the price Dupixent, an eczema drug made by Regeneron and Sanofi increased by 3%. The drug now has a list price of $37,000 a year compared to when it was first cleared at $30,000 a year.

In a statement, Regeneron reaffirmed its position, pointing to Sanofi for the decision to increase the price:

“Regeneron is committed to pricing our innovative medicines responsibly and to working with all stakeholders to ensure access and affordability for patients. Sanofi has final decision-making authority on pricing matters for Dupixent and has increased the US wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) by 3%, which is lower than medical inflation. Please contact Sanofi for comment.”

Sanofi said the decision to increase the price of Dupixent was within the bounds of the pricing policy it set, in which it commited to not raising the price above the rate of medical inflation.

“This is the first increase for Dupixent since launching last March, and is the only planned increased for 2018,” Sanofi said in an emailed statement.

Regeneron’s not the only pharmaceutical company that increased their drug prices as of July 1. The Financial Times reported on Monday that the average price increases at Pfizer for Viagara and another 100 products were around 9%.

These come after President Donald Trump’s announcement in May of a plan to lower drug prices in the US. These include proposed changes in things like pricing negotiations with Medicare Part D plans and rebates for patients. So far, there hasn’t been much activity in this area aside from a couple of officials speaking out against drug pricing.

But Trump has said that he expects drugmakers to lower prices to their drugs.

“I think we’re going to have some of the big drug companies in in two weeks, and they’re going to announce because of what we did, they’re going to announce voluntary massive drops in prices,” Trump said during a bill signing at the end of May.