One of the hot-button issues this election season is health care reform. While there are strong, differing opinions about it, the piece that both presidential candidates and voters agree on is that medicines are too expensive. Everyone is fed up with high drug prices and wants something to be done about it.
Fortune’s Susie Gharib talked with the CEO of Novartis International, one of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies, for his take on this issue. Novartis is best known for making Gleevec, the blockbuster cancer drug that treats leukemia. Until it went off patent in early 2016, physicians estimated that the cost of treatment for a leukemia patient could be as much as $120,000 a year.
Novartis’ Joe Jimenez says his company wants to be “part of the solution,” but adds that drugs account for only 15% of the total cost of health care in the U.S. His solution: “Let’s look across the entire health care system, from pharmaceuticals to insurance companies to the hospitals and the physicians, and let’s dissect the true costs of managing a disease,” adding, “We think we can save substantial amounts of money.”