When studies of AbbVie's chloesterol drug Niaspan raised questions about its effectiveness, analysts suggested it would lose its blockbuster status. But in the face of falling sales, AbbVie's former parent Abbott Laboratories ($ABT) simply raised the price.
According to Bloomberg, recent spinoff AbbVie ($ABBV) boosted the price of cholesterol drug Niaspan 37%, offsetting unit sales losses after two studies showed it had little, if any, effect as a heart disease treatment. Niaspan raises HDL, or good cholesterol, and is often given along with drugs that lower bad cholesterol. AbbVie defended the drug but had no comment on its pricing strategy. Doctors sure did: "I don't know how you can justify it," cardiologist Dr. Robert Giugliano told Bloomberg, pointing out that studies in 2011 and last year found the drug did not lower the risk of heart attacks.