• Swiss pharma giants swallow up start-ups in push for next big gene therapy - SWI swissinfo.ch

    Swiss drug makers are increasingly relying on buying science rather than doing it themselves, with taxpayers footing some of the bill for big discoveries. The investigation by Swiss public television comes as Novartis announces it is reconsidering a lottery program to distribute free-of-charge the most expensive treatment ever developed.

    (...) over 200 cell and gene therapies are currently in development, raising concerns about how over-stretched health systems are going to afford to pay for these “miracle” cures.

    (…) In a marked shift from how companies used to defend high prices by pointing to the cost of R&D, Novartis has justified the price based on the value it brings in terms of additional years of life, quality of life and cost savings to health systems.

    (…) big pharmaceutical companies are relying more heavily on buying smaller companies with drugs in advanced stages of development rather than investing in their own science.

    Of the 16 big pharmaceutical companies RTS investigated, Roche and Novartis relied the most on acquisitions with 49 and 45 companies swallowed up by the Basel-based health giants respectively since 2000.

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