CEO of ABC Diagnostics Takes a Hint from Allergan's Saunders

Theral Timpson

We found the following wadded up next to a trash can:

CEO Blog: Another Social Contract with Patients

Lately, there has been zero focus on the price of diagnostics.  Damnit.  Drug companies get all the attention.   And the profits.  I’m writing out a new social contract for diagnostics companies. 

It’s often said that 50% of solving a problem is in first of all defining the problem.   This holds true for medicine as well.  If a patient pays $100,000 for a medication, we should get paid $100,000 for the correct diagnosis.  Period.

According to a recent study, 12 million Americans are misdiagnosed each year.  This is water off the drug companies’ backs.  Their drugs will be prescribed anyway.

Unfortunately no one in the diagnostics industry has taken any aggressive, let alone predatory approach to pricing.  Therefore, we will.

There are four principles to the social contract:

1.  Invest and Innovate

As an industry, we risk billions of dollars to develop life saving and life enhancing diagnostics.  Yet we can’t pay our lighting bill.   For similar innovation, our counterparts at drug companies get paid hundreds of millions in salary and bonuses.  I hope I can work there someday.

2.  Access and Pricing

You want access?  Then it’s time we joined the American economy and got some self respect.  We must raise prices.  

Obviously we have approached CMS in the wrong way all these years.

Rather than pulling our pants down and waiting each year to see how much lower they will drop our pricing, we commit to being much more proactive.  As of today, we commit to raising our prices considerably, multiple times per year, and at the least by 100% each time.  These pants are not coming down until I get home to a good glass of wine.

In other words, we will engage in price gouging actions and predatory pricing.

I commit to ending up in a congressional hearing.  With my pants up.

3.  Quality and Safety

It has been said that the diagnostics industry’s low pricing plight is a result of their lack of quality products.   We commit to stop sneaking around the FDA and to stop going direct to the consumer with half baked products all at the price of a bake sale.  Yes we can.

4.  Education

We are committed to educating physicians.   The use of a diagnostic test might result in a drug company selling a single medication to a single patient for hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.  We commit to getting in bed with these drug companies.

There is such unbridled joy in my heart when a Dx company finds itself in the spotlight.  A joy I never experience.  

--John Smith, ABC Diagnostics, Inc.