‘the idea wasn’t desperation, the idea was tenacity’

Allergan’s controversial deal with the Saint Regis Mohawk tribe giving the group the patent rights to one of its key drugs was widely misunderstood, Allergan CEO Brent Saunders told CNBC.

“I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding on why we did the idea,” Saunders told “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer in a Wednesday interview. “the idea wasn’t desperation, the idea was tenacity.”

In exchange for the patents for Allergan’s eye drug, Restasis, in addition to $13.75 million (plus potentially $15 million in annual royalties), the tribe granted Allergan an exclusive license to sell the drug.

The deal involving the billion-dollar drug drew widespread criticism, raising concerns which Allergan could currently raise the cost of Restasis while keeping the idea under patent protection.

A group of hospitals, health insurers in addition to additional drugmakers flagged the deal to Congress, asking lawmakers to review the idea. however Saunders said which the idea was simply how the pharmaceutical industry works.

“I believe which the biopharmaceutical industry can be grounded in one thing, in addition to which’s intellectual property protection. which’s why we invest billions of dollars coming up with cures in addition to treatments because we get a very short period which’s protected by patents to sell those drugs,” the CEO said.

On the additional hand, Saunders acknowledged big pharma’s duty to patients in addition to consumers.

“The flip side of which can be I have a social contract which says when we are successful, we’ll cost the idea responsibly in addition to we’ll make them accessible to those people who can’t afford them,” he told Cramer. “in addition to I think people got confused which said because I believe in strong intellectual property, I don’t believe in producing medicines affordable in addition to accessible, in addition to one has nothing to do with the additional.”

While Wall Street has turned sour on Allergan lately, Saunders said which leading the company past patent cliffs like This kind of one can be just part of the job.

“Look, we are tenacious. We believe in protecting our shareholders. We believe in protecting our employees in addition to we believe in protecting our medicines, which means our patients,” the CEO said.

Watch Brent Saunders’ full interview here:

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