John Linehan Quoted in “Path of Uncertainty: Pharm Exec’s 2017 Industry Forecast”

PharmExec.com

John S. Linehan, an Associate in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Baltimore and Washington, DC, offices, was quoted in PharmExec.com, in “Path of Uncertainty: Pharm Exec’s 2017 Industry Forecast,” by Julian Upton and Casey McDonald.

Following is an excerpt:

At pharmexec.com in December, John S. Linehan, an attorney in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice group of Epstein Becker Green, wrote: “In 2016, the populist trend in American politics was an undeniable factor behind Trump’s election victory as well as the ascendancy of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren within the Democratic Party. During upcoming months, industry observers will be looking for signs as to whether drug pricing is an area in which both parties can agree on instituting significant legislative action at the state and federal levels. The nature and shape of any such reforms will be highly consequential for the US pharmaceutical industry, which has served as a prime source of innovation in medicine. The question going forward is whether cool-headed reform that facilitates patient access to drugs without stymying pharmaceutical R&D investment can be achieved in an era of fervent populism and discontent over rising healthcare costs.”

On reflection, Linehan stipulated that populist mentality can take on forms perhaps more extreme than demanding pricing controls. “People want action, and I think we’ll see, in fact we’re already seeing it, reform by enforcement,” Linehan wrote. Where in the past, civil action was being taken against companies, we may see a trend toward greater accountability demanded by charging individual corporate executives. Generics price fixing, kickbacks, illegal and unethical specialty pharmacy buyer relationships, the opioid epidemic, these are all areas where we might see serious charges brought against individuals in 2017.