Valeant says discount program for heart drugs on track

Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:25pm EDT
 
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Sept 16 (Reuters) - Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc said its discount and rebates program for two high-priced heart drugs would cover over 90 percent U.S. hospitals once it had finalized the last of the 14 group purchasing organizations.

Valeant's statement comes after Bloomberg reported that some medical centers had yet to see a cent of savings on Nitropress or Isuprel. (bloom.bg/2d3jorX)

Valeant said on Friday that group purchasing organizations may provide hospitals with upfront discounts and/or volume-based rebates after the end of the quarter in which the purchases were made.

"Hospital representatives who were quoted in press reports that they are 'paying the same high price' are likely not taking end of quarter rebates into account," Valeant said.

Hospitals receive discounts primarily through their group purchasing organization, and Valeant has communicated to individual hospitals that we are working with GPOs to administer the program, the company said.

The Canadian drugmaker announced in May it would raise discounts to hospitals on the heart drugs to as much as 40 percent off list prices after shareholder William Ackman pledged to revisit controversial price increases on the treatments.

Valeant is being investigated by the U.S. Senate for raising the price of Isuprel by about 720 percent and Nitropress by 310 percent after it bought the drugs from Marathon Pharmaceuticals in 2015. (Reporting by Anet Josline Pinto in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)