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Monday, October 04, 2010

Lilly vs. AstraZeneca on Covering the Medicare "Doughnut Hole" Gap

Two pharma companies have responded very differently to recent stories in the press about pharma's "deal" with democrats to help cover the gap ("doughnut hole") in Medicare drug coverage. Whereas Lilly hemmed and hawed and skirted the issue and mainly defended high drug prices (see "Why Price Controls Are Not The Right Answer" and my comments here: "LillyPad Launches Specious Rocket Attack Against Drug Price Control Straw Man" and ), AstaZeneca seized the moment to support the coverage and explain how else it is helping senior citizens pay for their prescription drugs (see "Our Fair Share: Closing the Coverage Gap").

[For background, see "Medicare "Doughnut Hole" to Cost Pharma Less Than 1% of US Sales."]

Just on the basis of the two blog post titles, I have to give AZ kudos for its positive stance vs. Lilly's negative stance. It's interesting that the negative commentary comes from a drug company that is US-based, whereas the positive stance comes from a UK-based drug company. Lilly also seems to be directing its comments to lawmakers and not senior citizens, which seems to be who AZ is talking to.

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