Congress investigating role of generics, M&A in high drug costs
Congress is gearing up to investigate the role that generic drugs, mergers and acquisitions within the pharmaceutical industry and FDA processes have had in skyrocketing drug prices.
An HHS forum this month will be another of many discussions on the Hill regarding prescription drug costs. The invite-only forum on Nov. 20 will touch on drug innovation, value-based purchasing programs and patient-access issues. It will involve consumers, manufacturers, health insurance companies, healthcare providers, employers and government representatives.
Next month, the Senate Special Committee on Aging will zero in on companies under fire, such as Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which slashed research and development funding while massively increasing prices and focusing almost exclusively on profit. Turing Pharmaceuticals has also received heat for acquiring an anti-parasitic drug and immediately raising the price from $13.50 a pill to about $750.
Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform recently asked committee leadership to consider subpoenaing Valeant CEO Michael Pearson and Turing CEO Martin Shkreli.
The investigations come amid public frustration over drug prices. Recent Kaiser Family Foundation surveys have found the issue as the top healthcare concern among consumers.
Activists hold signs with image of Turing
Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli in
front of the building that houses his
offices in New York.