Johnson & Johnson, the world's largest health-care company, issued a new report Monday detailing data on its medicines' price increases. The message: We've been responsible, but the public hasn't been able to tell because of lack of transparency.
The report, which J&J says it plans to issue annually, comes as the pharmaceutical industry has once again become a national target for its pricing practices. And the message, that there's more to pricing than meets the eye, has been the industry's primary response — a response most visibly employed by Mylan Chief Executive Heather Bresch amid controversy over pricing of the EpiPen.
"We understand the concerns of patients, families and other stakeholders who are worried about health care costs, including the costs of prescription medicines," wrote Jennifer Taubert, J&J's company group chairman for pharmaceuticals in the Americas, and Anastasia Daifotis, chief scientific officer for J&J's Janssen North America pharmaceuticals unit, in the report. "They are calling on us to provide greater transparency about how we operate — including disclosing more information on our pricing and marketing practices, our patient access programs and our clinical trials."
The report focuses specifically on the U.S., where the 2016 presidential election included drug pricing as a key issue. President Donald Trump has continued his focus on drug prices since, saying the industry is "getting away with murder" for its pricing practices and vowing to bring pricing down.