Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky told CNBC on Monday that the health-care giant spoke with “the administration around” President-elect Donald Trump regarding the state of the U.S. health-care system.
“And the kinds of things we’re talking about is how can we take what I believe is one of the very best health-care systems in the world and how can we make it even better? How can we make changes, recognizing the challenges, economic pressures, regulatory pressures, but keep essential elements like innovation through better integration?” Gorsky said on CNBC’s “Power Lunch.”
Gorsky’s comments, speaking at the 35th annual JPMorgan health-care conference in San Francisco, come after Trump said he intends to repeal the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.
Last month Trump also blasted the entire drug industry in an interview with Time magazine, sending shares of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies lower.
“I’m going to bring down drug prices,” the president-elect said. “I don’t like what has happened with drug prices.”
Despite Trump’s rhetoric around the drug industry, Johnson & Johnson’s stock is up so far in 2017. Gorksy said the company is pleased with its performance overall, but far from satisfied.
“The underlying driver in all that is about innovation. It is about execution and it is about delivering on our commitments,” he said. “Over the past four years, we’ve been able to launch 15 brand new pharmaceutical products that have been great for patients, but also have been a real driver in our business.”
Johnson & Johnson is currently negotiating a deal to acquire Swiss biotechnology company Actelion. On Friday, a Reuters report said the two companies have asked Switzerland’s takeover board about the viability of a complicated takeover deal.
Gorksy said the company will look to make more deals in 2017. “We’re always a deal maker. Take a look at us historically over the 20, 10, five years,” he said.