Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc(NYSE:VRX) has yet to come through on the 30% price break on drugs for various heart conditions that they promised to deliver in front of congress. Hospitals are now crying foul as the promised cuts would have gone a long way in making various medications affordable to patients.
Some of the drugs that could have benefited from the breaks include, Nitropress and Isuprel used to treat various heart conditions. Given that their prices shot up abruptly last year, many hospitals had hoped that Congress intervention would have helped iron out the mess sooner than later. That was not to be, as Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) has gone numb about the proposed price cuts.
Cleveland Clinic, which is the nation’s top heart hospital, had hoped to benefit from the price breaks having spent $5.3 million on the two drugs last year. Johns Hopkins, New York Presbyterian and Mayo Clinic have also raised similar concerns.
Valeant’s CEO appearing in a Senate hearing last week reiterated that he would look into the matter amidst claims that no hospital had received discounts. Given the company’s silence, Senator Susan Collins has called on the company’s largest investor Bill Ackman to follow through on the matter.
Valeant’s Strict Requirements
Last week, the Canadian company said it had offered 30% discounts on some drugs through two organizations; MedAssets and Premier. However, recent Senate hearings have revealed gaps in the process. Premier, one of the distributors, says some of the discounts are so minimal to make any sense.
Premier has also raised the red flag over the strict requirements put in place making it difficult for hospitals to access the discounts. Given the strict requirements, the distributor says only one hospital out of its 2,500 members has qualified for the 30% discount on Nitropress with 27 receiving various lower discounts. Only one hospital is receiving a 30% discount on Isuprel nine having qualified for a 20% discount.
The number of hospitals receiving is low because according to Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) requirements such cuts can only come into effect on high volume purchases.