Drug industry is considering more use of differential pricing, conference hears

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 09 December 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d8049
  1. Elizabeth Sukkar
  1. 1London

The drug industry is indicating that it is more willing to participate in differential pricing to improve access to its products.

Severin Schwan, chief executive officer of Roche, the world’s fifth largest drug company, told a drug and biotechnology industry conference organised by the Financial Times and held in London on 5-6 December that one of the big trends he expects to occur in the future is the use of differentiated rather than uniform pricing.

Pricing can be differentiated according to countries’ needs and ability to pay and also, more challengingly, between patients of different socioeconomic status in the same country.

The industry has always been a bit nervous about differential pricing, and the practice is not widespread. This is mainly because companies are worried that more lowly priced products will flow back to high income countries, the source of most companies’ profits. The industry is also concerned about the practice of external …

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