Jason Gerberry, a drug industry analyst with Leerink Swann, said the company’s 2012 revenue was split almost evenly between generics and other sources, mostly brand-name products. But in terms of operating profit, only about 35 percent came from generics, he noted. One of its most profitable is a multiple sclerosis drug, Copaxone.
“The U.S. generics business is hitting a tough spot,” Gerberry added. And Teva’s stock has been flat.
Another priority for Teva, Barrett said, will be an effort to combat prescription drug abuse. The company is examining how it could best educate the public, Barrett said, and she indicated that a campaign along those lines would roll out later this year. “We need to stop the trends here,” she said. “We’re asking, ‘What can we do?’”
Since Barrett joined Teva, the company has increased its spending on federal lobbying. The year she started, Teva reported about $1.3 million in annual expenditures. In more recent years, it has spent around $3 million. Last year, according to Lobbying Disclosure Act reports, it farmed out work to such firms as Goodwin Procter, Rubicon Advisors and others.
Before she joined Teva, Barrett was a consultant at the Washington Group lobbying firm and had been a lobbyist at the generic drug industry trade group. On Capitol Hill, she worked for former Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Lobbyists from both sides of the aisle give her high marks. Democrat Rich Tarplin called her “a rare commodity in the drug world — hard-headed and sophisticated about business issues with the heart of a progressive on access to quality care for patients.”
GOP lobbyist Ari Storch, another former Teva consultant, said Barrett is “the perfect person to help Teva continue its transition from generics behemoth to balanced player.”
In her new role at Teva, Barrett also oversees lobbying in all the states as well as internationally. “We’re trying out the video-conferencing capabilities,” she said. But traveling to Israel as well as to Brussels and other capitals is part of the job. “Nothing supplants being face to face.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.