Valeant Pharmaceuticals has made a deal with Walgreens Boots Alliance to distribute a number of its medicines at a discount through Walgreens pharmacies. The news of the new distribution agreement comes just a month and a half after ending a distribution contract with a specialty pharmacy accused of unethical business practices.
Valeant, which has recently been under fire for the high prices of many of its drugs, will reduce prices by 10% for its branded dermatology and ophthalmology products distributed by Walgreens retail pharmacies, and will be extending the model to other independent retail pharmacies in the future, according to the statement released Monday. The long-term deal includes over 8,000 U.S. Walgreens pharmacies, and begins in the first quarter of next year. The contract covers medicines including the toenail fungus drug Jublia, acne products Solodyn and Retin-A Micro and eye drop Alrex. Valeant’s over-the-counter healthcare products will now also be available at Walgreens.
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Details on Valeant – Walgreens distribution deal
The statement noted that Valeant had also agreed with Walgreens to distribute more than 30 branded products at “generic prices,” and to cut prices by 5 to 95%. The price cuts will take effect in the second half of 2016, while the 10 percent cuts will be phased in over the next few months, the companies said.
Of note, Valeant share price has dropped close to 60% in the fourth quarter, as the firm’s pricing practices saw federal investigations launched, and as significant questions regarding unethical business practices at Philidor specialty pharmacy, which represents around 7% of Valeant’s total revenue
Statements from management
“We have listened to what the marketplace is saying and we’ve taken positive steps to respond. We are pleased to announce both a strategic fulfillment agreement with Walgreens, as well as a new agreement to offer innovator products at generic prices, which is good for consumers, good for physicians and good for the healthcare system,” commented J. Michael Pearson, chairman and chief CEO of specialty drugmaker Valeant. “Our goal is to create a system that allows prescription medications to be dispensed and insurance claims adjudicated in an efficient manner while allowing physicians to focus their efforts on what matters most: patient care.”
“Walgreens is always looking for ways to expand the products and services people want and need, and our agreement with Valeant advances our commitment to creating a patient-led pharmacy experience,” noted Alex Gourlay, President of Walgreen Co. “In addition to promoting pharmacist-patient interactions to improve care and medication adherence, this agreement creates a new direct distribution model that we believe will help increase efficiency.”