Committee Begins Releasing Staff Reports on Skyrocketing Drug Prices As Six CEOs Testify This Week
Washington, D.C. (Sept. 30, 2020)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, sent a letter to Committee Members announcing that she is beginning to release a series of new staff reports detailing the findings of the Committee’s sweeping investigation into the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs. She made her announcement in conjunction with two days of back-to-back hearings with drug company CEOs being held today and tomorrow.
“Last year, the Committee on Oversight and Reform launched one of the most comprehensive and in-depth investigations of drug price increases that Congress has ever conducted,” Maloney wrote. “As a result, the Committee has now reviewed more than a million pages of documents. Many of these documents are internal corporate strategy documents and communications among top executives that provide significant new insights into how and why drug companies keep increasing their prices so dramatically.”
“This week, in conjunction with our hearings with drug company CEOs, I will begin releasing a number of staff reports describing these documents and explaining in detail the following key findings based on our review,” she added.
Today, the Committee released two staff reports and accompanying document packets:
- The first staff report describes the actions of Celgene and Bristol Myers Squibb in repeatedly raising the price of Revlimid, a critical drug to treat multiple myeloma and other forms of cancer.
- The second staff report describes the actions of Teva in repeatedly raising the price of Copaxone, a drug used to treat multiple sclerosis.
The Committee plans to release additional staff reports tomorrow in conjunction with testimony from the top executives of Amgen, Mallinckrodt, and Novartis.
Chairwoman Maloney’s letter set forth key findings from these new staff reports:
- “At the broadest level, the Committee’s investigation shows that although drug companies make products we all need for our health and well-being, their skyrocketing price increases are simply unsustainable going forward.”
- “The Committee’s investigation also reveals new details about the specific tactics drug companies are using to raise prices, maximize profits, and suppress competition among other companies.”
- “Finally, the Committee’s investigation demonstrates that drug companies are taking full advantage of the federal law that currently prohibits Medicare from negotiating directly with drug companies to lower prices. The drug companies are bringing in tens of billions of dollars in revenues, making astronomical profits, and rewarding their executives with lavish compensation packages—all without any apparent limit on what they can charge.”
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings launched the Committee’s wide-ranging investigation soon after becoming Chairman in January 2019. In December, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, to give Medicare the authority to negotiate directly with drug companies.