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Perspectives

Why Patients Aren’t Benefiting from the $14 Billion Sanofi Paid in Rebates in 2019

By Adam Gluck, Head of Sanofi U.S. and Sanofi Genzyme Corporate Affairs

This article first appeared in Morning Consult on March 17, 2020.

Last year, Sanofi paid nearly $14 billion in rebates to insurance companies and other payers. To put that in perspective: That is more money than the Avengers: Endgame made last year. Or the new Star Wars. Or The Lion King. In fact, those payments are larger than Hollywood’s total gross from all 900-plus films in 2019.

Rebate payments are a big part of the reason that our average net price — the amount we actually receive for our medicines after accounting for those rebates — fell by more than 11 percent in 2019. And as we documented in our fourth-annual Pricing Principles report, this decrease is part of a significant trend: Our net price decreased by 8 percent in 2018, 8.4 percent in 2017 and 2.1 percent in 2016.

Drug prices are not “skyrocketing,” as is sometimes claimed by those who look only narrowly at list prices: the prices at which we sell our medicines to wholesale drug distribution companies. Net prices have seen a long and meaningful drop, one that we’ve documented in our annual Pricing Principles report, spelling out the financial realities of the market for medicines.

The full version of this article was published by Morning Consult.