Cummings and Sanders Seek Answers on Drug Companies’ Apparent Obstruction of Congressional Investigation into Generic Drug Price Increases
Washington, D.C. (August 14, 2019)—Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, sent letters to Heritage Pharmaceuticals, Mylan N.V., and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. renewing a 2014 document request about the companies’ pricing of generic drugs and opening an investigation into the companies’ apparent coordinated obstruction of the investigation as revealed by a May 10, 2019 complaint filed by Connecticut and 43 other states.
“We are writing once again to obtain the information requested in 2014. This information is critical to our investigation, and necessary to develop and pursue legislative policies that address anti-competitive behavior in the generic pharmaceutical industry,” Cummings and Sanders wrote.
Cummings and Sanders also requested information regarding the companies’ apparent efforts to stonewall the 2014 investigation, in order to obtain a more detailed understanding of what specific actions took place to impede efforts, thwart the ability of Congress to enact legislative reform, and jeopardize patients access to generic drugs.
On May 10, 2019, Connecticut and 43 other states filed a complaint with troubling allegations of price fixing by Heritage, Mylan, Teva, and other drug manufacturers. According to the complaint, manufacturers coordinated to inflate the prices of several drugs that were the subject of Rep. Cummings and Sen. Sanders’ 2014 investigation. The prices of some of these drugs had risen by as much as 8,281 percent between October 2013 and April 2014. Heritage, Mylan, and Teva executives allegedly played a central role in this scheme.
These executives also allegedly coordinated to obstruct the Members’ 2014 investigation. Connecticut officials obtained an email sent on October 3, 2014, from Heritage's outside counsel to then-Heritage Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Glazer discussing how Teva, Mylan, and Heritage planned to coordinate their responses to the congressional requests. The Heritage representative wrote that “the consensus at this point is that the responses will be ‘polite f-u’ letters.” The email stated that the companies were planning “to schedule a conference call to coordinate the response and make sure everyone is on the same page.”
“Not only did your company’s apparent obstruction undermine our investigation, but it may have caused further harm to patients and health care providers by delaying the discovery of evidence about the companies’ price-fixing,” Cummings and Sanders wrote. “Furthermore, obstructing or evading a Congressional investigation, including withholding or concealing information, is a violation of federal law.”
Click here to read the letter to Heritage Pharmaceuticals.
Click here to read the letter to Mylan N.V.
Click here to read the letter to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
Due to a typographical error, a previous version of these letters attributed the letter sent on October 3, 2014 to a Mylan representative. The author was actually outside counsel for Heritage Pharmaceuticals.