Bristol Myers Gives Uncle Sam A Break

Hoping to head off congressional pressure for lower drug prices, Bristol-Myers Squibb on Jan. 7 said it would cut the prices it charges the federal government. Uncle Sam will now pay prices comparable to those that state medicaid programs pay. The feds, for instance, will pay $34.05, down from $38.22, for a 100-pill bottle of Capoten, an antihypertensive. The nongovernment price: $45. Bristol still expects to raise consumer-market prices as needed, and it anticipates no damage to profits: It figures the government, its biggest customer, will just buy more drugs.

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