NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- President-elect Donald Trump is expected to roll back regulation in the biotech sector and alleviate drug pricing pressure, but a new administration doesn't change the need people have for drugs "that can address important health concerns," Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) CEO Leonard Schleifer said on CNBC's "Power Lunch" Thursday afternoon.
This will the sixth administration the pharma company will work under and Schleifer said he will continue to argue for "an environment where innovation is encouraged, where it's incentivized on the one hand. But on the other hand, we make sure drugs are affordable for people who need them today."
That balance is "tough" to get right, he admitted. The company wants fair pricing, but there also needs to be "the fuel of interest to the fire of genius," he said, quoting Abraham Lincoln.
While some people think middlemen in the pharma industry are helping to incentivize rising drug prices, Schleifer thinks they could actually be "driving access down," he said. In other words, prescriptions that doctors write are being rejected.
"Some might argue that if the price were lower, the prescriptions wouldn't be left at the pharmacy counters," CNBC's Meg Tirrell pointed out.
"I think if people actually knew what the net cost of a prescription is, you would have a slightly different view," he answered.
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