The days of wine and roses for the pharmaceutical sector's pricing practices may soon be coming to an end.
Both presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's healthcare platforms include forms of price control for prescription drugs, meaning that the government could finally stop the sector's regular practices of raising prices seemingly at whim.
Clinton's plan calls for creating a federal watchdog panel to scrutinize increases in drug prices, as well as tweaks to the Affordable Care Act that would limit the amount of income consumers would have to expend on purchasing drugs, according to Motley Fool. Meanwhile, Donald Trump's healthcare plan would include allowances for Medicare and other healthcare payers to import drugs from other countries such as Canada, where both wholesale and retail prices are much lower.
As a result, drug companies could come under significant economic pressure if either of the plans is put into effect. (Trump's plan also calls for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which would add 20 million people to the ranks of the uninsured and limit the pool of insured Americans who can obtain drugs through their coverage).
Either plan could have a particularly negative effect on publicly traded firms such as Valeant Pharmaceuticals, according to the article. That company has come under fire for raising the prices of two heart drugs 212 percent to 525 percent. And after acquiring the rights to Seconal, a sleeping pill that has been on the market since the 1930s and is more recently deployed as a drug in physician-assisted suicide, Valeant raised its price 15-fold since 2009.
The sector has also drawn fire for the pricing practices of Turing Pharmaceuticals and the behavior of its former chief executive officer Martin Shkreli.
Valeant offered to provide discounts to providers for some of its drugs, but some hospitals said recently they have yet to materialize. They may show up in some other form in 2017 or beyond.