March 7, 2018 / 3:23 PM / 5 months ago

FDA head Gottlieb criticizes industry for "Kabuki drug-pricing"

WASHINGTON, March 7 (Reuters) - U.S. Food and Drug Administrator Scott Gottlieb on Wednesday criticized drugmakers, pharmacy benefit managers and health insurers for "Kabuki drug-pricing constructs" that he said expose consumers to high out-of-pocket costs and discourage competition.

Gottlieb delivered the remarks at an annual conference of health insurers in a speech largely aimed at promoting biosimilars, rival treatments that are as effective as the original but cheaper. But he criticized much of the health industry for failing to promote access to innovative treatments such as biosimilars and for pricing practices that harm consumers.

Kabuki is a form of Japanese theater known for its dramatization and elaborate make-up of its performers. (Reporting by Yasmeen Abutaleb Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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