While the biotech sector has recently come under fire by politicians for price gouging, biotech CEOs say the conversation should focus less on placing blame and more on finding a proper balance in drug prices that allows for innovation and affordability.
GlaxoSmithKline CEO Sir Andrew Witty said Tuesday that despite possible concerns about patients not being able to access new medicine, the No. 1 driver for employees in the biotech industry is to find better treatments.
"What we need to do as an industry is work harder to work with other stakeholders including potentially members of government to make sure that pricing is sustainable, that we get a decent return for the risk that's taken on those drug discoveries. Those scientists get rewarded for all of the risk and hard work they did," he told CNBC's "Squawk Alley."
"But we also get the balance right to make sure that everyday people can afford these medicines. We need to do a better job at making sure that that conversation is going forward, it's progressive."
His comments were made shortly after Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders voted on Tuesday against President Barack Obama's choice to lead the Food and Drug Administration, citing concerns over the nominee's, Dr. Robert Califf, connection to the pharmaceutical industry.