Dec 15, 2017 - Health Care

As Trump vows to hit drug prices, Alexion Pharmaceuticals fesses up on dodgy sales tactics

The Wall Street Journal's Jonathan Rockoff catches a big admission by Alexion Pharmaceuticals in a securities filing: Its managers pressured their staff to meet financial targets by selling a pricey drug sooner than customers needed it. The New Haven-based drug company sells a medication for a rare blood disorder.

The company said the tactic wasn't "inherently problematic or impermissible, when in accordance" with accounting rules. But its interim CEO also promised it wouldn't happen again.

Mixed messages: The episode may not hurt Alexion in the long run, but no pharmaceutical company wants to draw the attention of Capitol Hill at a time when legislation to rein in high drug prices is still on the agenda.

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