Perspectives On Drug Costs: It’s A Drugmaker’s World And We’re All Just Living In It

Pfizer Wins Big In Opioid Deal With Chicago. But What Does The City Get?

In an unusual development, Pfizer signed a pact with the city of Chicago and agreed not to engage in the sort of marketing that helped fuel the epidemic in the first place. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel boasted of a “landmark agreement” and a “big step” toward blunting the risks of these prescription painkillers, which were blamed for more than 14,000 deaths two years ago, according to federal health officials. To be sure, any time a drug maker agrees to restrict or enhance its marketing in ways that benefit public safety is noteworthy, especially given the eye-popping fines that so many of these companies have paid over the past decade to settle charges of illegal marketing. But this particular deal is unlikely to make much, if any, difference. In fact, for the moment, the only certain winner in this arrangement is Pfizer. And it’s a big win. (Ed Silverman, 7/12)