The Democrat-led reports come just weeks before Election Day and amid President Donald Trump’s efforts to show progress in reducing drug costs, one of his 2016 campaign promises.
None of the companies immediately responded to requests for comments.
Highlights: Celgene has increased the price of its cancer drug Revlimid 22 times since it was launched in 2005, more than tripling its price. These increases weren’t necessarily associated with rising costs or innovation: Former CEO Mark Alles ordered an emergency price hike in 2014 so Celgene could meet its quarterly revenue targets.
“I need to consider every legitimate opportunity we have to improve our Q1 performance,” All wrote in one email. He will appear before the committee on Wednesday with Bristol CEO Giovanni Caforio.
After buying Celgene last year, Bristol continued to climb. Revlimid is now priced at over $ 16,000 per month.
The panel’s report also details the tactics Teva Pharmaceuticals used to stave off the competition, such as introducing new formulations of the multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone and contracts with payers to limit generic substitutions for the blockbuster drug.
Teva has increased the price of Copaxone 27 times since its inception in 1997, increasing its cost from $ 10,000 then to nearly $ 70,000 today. Bonuses for Teva employees also rose – the committee reports that “subordinates were aware of the direct relationship between their compensation and the price and revenue of Copaxone.”
Teås CEO Kåre Schultz testifies for the pharmaceutical company on September 30th.
The panel said other costs, such as discounts that drug manufacturers pay to pharmacy performance managers, are not responsible for the steadily rising drug prices. Manufacturers typically refer to these discounts, which are used to ensure that the products are listed in the insurance formulas to justify price increases, as part of the cost of these discounts is removed from payers.
The heart of the price debate: Democrats have long urged Medicare to negotiate prices directly with drug manufacturers, a stance President Donald Trump took in the 2016 campaign. The committee argues that corporations are “taking full advantage” of Medicare’s inability to negotiate under federal law.
While abandoning the negotiation plan in office, Trump has tried, and for the most part failed, to advance other measures to reduce drug costs. The president announced this summer an ambitious plan to link Medicare payments to lower costs abroad – an approach the industry is vehemently opposed to.
What’s next: Robert Bradway, CEO of Amgen; Mark Trudeau, CEO of Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals; and Thomas Kendris, US President of Novartis, testify Oct. 1.
Amgen makes Enbrel – one of the world’s best-selling autoimmune drugs – and Sensipar, a treatment for kidney failure. Both are blockbuster drugs that have been seen significant price increases over the past two decades.
Mallinckrodt sells H.P. Acthar Gel, a decade-old anti-inflammatory drug that the manufacturer acquired in 2014 after previous owner Questcor, increased its price from $ 40 to $ 31,000 per vial. Mallinckrodt continues to raise the price.
Novartis makes Gleevec, a cancer drug that has seen prices rise more than 395 percent in around 15 years.
The House Committee also cited pricing documents and strategies from AbbVie, maker of global top seller Humira, after accusing the company of refusing to provide critical information.