Six Pharmaceutical Industry Practices That Will Make Your Blood Boil

Raise prices on pretty much everything

We will initiate at least one significant, arbitrary and life changing (for you) price increase (of about 6.3%) to our entire suite of products in the next year. For some of you, this may pose a barrier to obtaining your medicine. While this may usher in your demise, please take comfort in the fact that price increases are essential for innovation. They provide an ongoing pipeline of critical life-saving products to the endless supply of people who can afford (through good luck or good insurance) to pay anything we feel like charging.

Inflate prices on new drugs

Each new successful product we roll out will cost 9% to 15% more than anything you’re paying for at the moment, regardless of whether it offers any benefit(s) to what you’re already using. I’m sure you can appreciate the business aspect of charging a premium for the products you depend on to keep you or a loved one alive (even if, technically, they don’t offer any improvement over what you’re already using).

Mask the actual prices of our drugs so we can keep overcharging

In an effort to provide some financial relief for customers who may not be able to afford high co-pays and deductibles, we’ll create co-pay coupons to mask the true price of our drugs. These coupons are great for us for two reasons: they actually increase the volume of prescriptions by 13% to 19% and we can use them as a tax write-off. They also allow us to keep charging unsustainably high prices. So, it’s win, win, win (for us)!

As a big important pharma CEO, I’m going to make a ton of money this year

I’m going to give myself a pay package that includes six million dollars in total compensation, slightly above the industry average of 5.7 million in 2018. This is a modest sum compared with some of the top CEOs in the industry, who easily make three times that amount. Making life saving products while keeping shareholders (myself included) happy is hard work. I’m sure you’ll agree that I’m worth it.

We’re going to dump nearly as much money into marketing as we do into R&D

My industry, collectively, will spend nearly $6 billion dollars annually to market prescription drugs directly to consumers. Thus, you can rest assured that the giant rate hikes I’m foisting on you will help me expand my market, earning my company even more money. Once again, I’m taking a page from other leaders in big pharma and biotech, who spent nearly $30 billion dollars on promoting drugs to physicians and consumers in 2016. What do you expect? Lifesaving medications aren’t going to sell themselves.





Essayist, content writer, bereaved parent. I love birds, mushrooms, trees, my amazing kid, & a very tiny poodle. Featured in Human Parts, GEN, Marker & OneZero.

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Jacqueline Dooley

Jacqueline Dooley

Essayist, content writer, bereaved parent. I love birds, mushrooms, trees, my amazing kid, & a very tiny poodle. Featured in Human Parts, GEN, Marker & OneZero.