Elan CEO to pharma: lower cost of new groundbreaking treatments

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Elan’s CEO Kelly Martin has issued a challenge to the pharmaceutical industry to overhaul its commercial model by offering groundbreaking new treatments at lower cost.

Martin told the Financial Times his company is to lead by example by doing so for its Alzheimer’s treatments.

“The psychology of the industry is that, if you are first, the price should be high,” he said. “The economic structure is unsustainable. The tension will grow and something has to give.”

Martin, head of the Ireland-based pharmaceuticals firm said there is a commercial advantage to building market share by offering lower-priced drugs over many years.

“We would consider using price as one of the parameters for strategically positioning this company for the long-term,” he said.

“You need low and flexible infrastructure costs but you can charge less if you continue to innovate,” Martin said.

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