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US politicians round on generics firms for blocking drug pricing probe

Renews focus on increases in generic drug prices

Mylan

US politicians are going after Heritage Pharmaceuticals, Mylan and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries for allegedly stonewalling an earlier effort to gather drug pricing information.

The back and forth between the three generic drug manufacturers and the politicians, one of whom is potential presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, dates back to a request for information in 2014.

That’s when Elijah Cummings, the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Sanders wrote to the companies seeking information about the “dramatic increase in generic drug prices”. The politicians claim to have followed up with “repeated inquiries and discussions”.

Despite that, the politicians never received the requested information. However, the old probe was given new life in May when Connecticut and 43 other states filed a complaint alleging generic drug manufacturers cooperated to increase the prices of certain drugs, including several products targeted by the politicians in 2014.

The lawsuit has led to the unearthing of information about how Heritage, Mylan and Teva allegedly responded to the 2014 request for information. The politicians set out some of the new information about the response in their recent letters to the companies.

In renewing their request for information, the politicians have asked the companies for the same data on sales and expenditures that they sought in the letters from 2014. The request is extended to include information up to the end of 2018.

Cummings and Sanders also want the companies to share documents related to their alleged attempts to establish a coordinated response to the 2014 request.

That new request tasks the companies with providing all written company communications related to the 2014 request, plus documents that identify all phone calls that took place between Heritage, Mylan and Teva in the months following the request.

The politicians have given the companies until 28 August to provide the requested information. In the letter, Cummings and Sanders note that withholding or concealing information from a Congressional investigation is a violation of federal law.

Article by
Nick Taylor

15th August 2019

From: Regulatory

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