Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE: VRX) has extended the reach of its discounts for Nitropress and Isuprel for all hospitals regardless of their size or if they are part of some group-purchasing organizations. The decision came as a recommendation from the company’s Patient Access and Pricing Committee (PAPC).

The discounts would be eligible for at least 10 percent off in the prices for all hospitals, with rebates up to 40 percent based on volume purchases during a calendar for the medical institutions that purchase large volumes of the drugs, the Canadian company stated in a press release.

Valeant increases heart drugs in hospitals
Valeant has extended the reach of its discounts for Nitropress and Isuprel for all hospitals. Credit: NY Post

A further price increase for Nitropress and Isuprel or reductions to the discounts levels in the rebate program will not take place anytime soon, according to the PAPC. The internal committee was created by the company after Valeant came under heavy fire from politicians due to dramatic price increases for its drugs, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

“Under this new program, the discounts we previously implemented for Nitropress and Isuprel will be simplified and more accessible,” said Joseph Papa, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Valeant. “I understand the concerns our partners in the healthcare community have had about the pricing of these drugs, and we want to ensure hospitals and patients can get the drugs they need.

Misleading promises

Valeant acquired Nitropress and Isuprel last year. Since then, the company immediately raised the prices by 525% and 212%, despite the drugs’ previous commercialization for years at a much lower price.

Monday’s announcement comes months after the company was heavily criticized by United States senators for failing to provide discounts to leading heart hospitals who used large quantities of the drugs, despite a previous promise to do so.

In the winter, Valeant pledged to offer up to 30 percent discounts based on volume to hospitals that use the drugs. However, a senate hearing in April made the company acknowledge that there were gaps in the discount programs after senators proved that none of the hospitals they contacted were receiving any discount, according to the New York Times.

Only one hospital out of 2,500 received a 30 percent discount on Nitropress, and only one qualified for a similar discount for Isuprel. Other hospitals just received a discount of one penny off the wholesale price.

Other important hospitals like the Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic did not qualify for any discount at all because the previous Valeant’s program did not offer discounts through the group-purchasing organization, something that the company allegedly change in the last announcement.

Source: Valeant Pharmaceuticals