The Challenge of Valuing Life-Saving Drugs

Valuing life-saving drugs poses a challenge to pharmaceutical companies. In the case of hepatitis C, healthcare costs over a lifetime—for chronic sufferers and their insurance providers—can easily exceed the seven-figure mark. Meanwhile, a full course of recently-approved drugs known to eradicate the virus in a matter of months, comes at a nearly one-hundred thousand dollar price tag to insurers. Former AstraZeneca CEO David Brennan believes context is key when it comes to valuing drugs. As he tells GLG, the price of a drug should reflect not only the overall healthcare costs, but also the quality of life for each patient.

David Brennan served as Chief Executive Officer of AstraZeneca from 2006 to June 2012. He spent over 20 years with AstraZeneca holding a variety of roles including Executive Vice President of North America (2001-2006) and Senior Vice President of Commercialization and Portfolio Management (1999-2001). As Executive Vice President, he led a team of 10 executives and was directly responsible for all US operations, over 11,000 employees, and $9 billion in US sales. Brennan was also a member of several global operating groups including the R&D Portfolio management team, Licensing committee, Strategy work group, IS committee, Operations committee, N.A. Compensation and Benefits (Chair), and the Global Marketing Committee (Chair). Prior to this, as Senior Vice President of Commercialization and Portfolio Management, he reported directly to the U.S. Chief Executive Officer and led a team of 10 Vice Presidents responsible for Sales, Marketing, 6 Therapeutic Business Units, Licensing, Strategic Planning, and Portfolio Management. David began his career working in various senior Business Development, Operations, and General Manager roles at Astra Pharmaceuticals (1998-1999), Astra Merck (1992-1998), and Merck & Co (1975-1992). He received a BA in Business Administration at Gettysburg College in 1975 and has been a member of many professional associations including; Executive Board member and Chairman at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), Executive Board member at European Federation of Pharmaceuticals Industries and Associations (EFPIA), and President and Executive Board member at International Federation of Pharmaceuticals Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA). He is currently a member of the Board of Directors at Insmed Inc, Honorary Member of The CEO Roundtable on Cancer, Supervisory Board Director at Innocoll Inc, and Independent Director at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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