The ever-more public debate about the price of prescription drugs and healthcare overall is not the first such debate. But GlaxoSmithKline’s Jamey Millar, senior vice president for managed markets and government affairs, said Thursday in Philadelphia that this discussion feels different from the early-to-mid 1990s when then-First Lady Hillary Clinton led an effort to reform how America’s expensive, inefficient, gap-ridden, dysfunctional healthcare system operates. And the difference, Millar said, is only partially a function of Clinton running for president. (Sell, 12/5) The Wall Street Journal: How Pfizer Set The Cost Of Its New Drug At $9,850 A Month Pfizer’s Road To Setting Breast Cancer Drug Price Reveals Factors That Are Pushing Costs To New Heights The Wall Street Journal provides a rare look at a drug company’s process as three years of market research led Pfizer to settling on Ibrance’s $9,850-a-month price. In other pharmaceutical pricing news, a Senate panel opens hearings on the costs of generics and a GlaxoSmithKline executive talks about the difference in the debate tenor between now and the 1990s. Days before Pfizer Inc. was to set the price for a new breast-cancer drug called Ibrance, it got a surprise: A competitor raised the monthly cost of a rival treatment by nearly a thousand dollars. Three years of market research—a stretch that started almost as soon as the new treatment showed promise in the laboratory—was suddenly in doubt. After carefully calibrating the price to be close to rivals and to keep doctors and insurers happy, Pfizer was left wondering if its list price of $9,850 a month for the pills was too low. (Rockoff, 12/9) CQ Healthbeat: Senate Panel’s Opening Move On Drug Costs Picks Soft Target The Philadelphia Inquirer: GSK Exec: More Voices Make Drug Healthcare Cost Debate Different From 1990s Lawmakers may be easing toward a serious discussion about containing rising drug costs, starting Wednesday with an easy target for the first major Senate hearing this year on generic pharmaceutical prices. The Senate Special Committee on Aging will delve into how small firms, including Martin Shkreli’s Turing Pharmaceuticals, can raise prices dramatically for generics. Turing boosted the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill for an antifungal drug used by AIDS patients. To his critics, Shkreli’s unrepentant position has made him the poster boy for greed on the part of sellers of medicines. (Young, 12/8) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.