ICCR members have long been concerned about the rising costs of prescription drugs. Last year, they hit upon a proposal about pricing risks and connections to executive pay incentives, an approach they are using again in 2019 (see p. 72 for information on nine proposals). Another proposal, however, was filed at Johnson & Johnson by the UAW Retirees Medical Benefits Trust. It focused on barriers to generic drug competition and the UAW Trust withdrew after the company agreed to further disclosure on the issue. The resolution had asked for a report by December
assessing the reputational and financial risks to the Company from rising pressure to reduce high prescription drug prices in the United States by removing barriers to generic competition. The report should address, but need not be limited to, the Food and Drug Administration’s (“FDA’s”) publication of a list of branded drugs about which the FDA has received inquiries from generic manufacturers unable to obtain branded drug samples, regulatory and legislative efforts to increase generic manufacturers’ access to those samples and measures to allow generic manufacturers to create their own Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy programs.
The list referenced was released in May by the FDA in a report that included 50 drugs where brand name makers denied providing samples needed to make the generic versions, and a division of J&J had the second-highest number of entries on the list. The resolution also discussed high prescription drug costs for Medicare and Medicaid and new federal legislation that allows generic companies to sue branded drug companies if they deny access to samples.