Dems Seek Subpoena for Documents Withheld by Valeant Pharmaceuticals on Massive Drug Price Increases

Sep 28, 2015
Press Release

Dems Seek Subpoena for Documents Withheld by Valeant Pharmaceuticals on Massive Drug Price Increases


Valeant Using Same Business Model as Former Hedge Fund Manager Who Increased Price of Life-Saving Drug From $13.50 to $750 “Overnight”


Washington, D.C. (Sept. 28, 2015)—Today, all 18 Democratic Members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform sent a letter requesting that Chairman Jason Chaffetz “issue a subpoena compelling Valeant Pharmaceuticals to turn over documents the company is withholding from Congress relating to massive price increases earlier this year for two drugs used by hospitals and other providers to treat serious heart conditions.”

The Democrats also requested that Chaffetz invite Valeant’s CEO to testify at a hearing next week with Martin Shkreli, the 32-year-old former hedge fund manager whose company recently purchased the life-saving drug Daraprim and increased the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill ‘overnight’.”  Shkreli reportedly tweeted that his price increase is “a great thing for society” and berated a reporter as a “moron” for requesting an explanation for his price increase.

The Democrats wrote that “Valeant is using precisely the same business model as Martin Shkreli,” writing that “both appear to be engaging in the same business model of acquiring potentially life-saving drugs to maximize their own corporate profits.”

“We believe it is critical to hold drug companies to account when they engage in ‘a business strategy of buying old neglected drugs and turning them into high-priced’ ‘specialty’ drugs,” the Democrats wrote.

More than four months ago, Cummings sent a letter requesting that Chaffetz hold a hearing and request documents from Valeant about its huge price increases for two heart medications—Isuprel and Nitropress—which the company increased by 212% and 525% immediately after buying the drugs in February.  When asked about the price increases, a Valeant spokeswoman said:  “Our duty is to our shareholders and to maximize the value” of the drugs.

When Chaffetz declined to join this effort, Cummings sent his own document request to Valeant on August 12 along with Senator Bernie Sanders.  On September 3, Valeant rejected Cummings’ request in a two-page letter signed by the company’s Senior Vice President for Investor Relations, arguing that “the specific documents and information referenced in your letter are highly proprietary and confidential.”

In their letter today, the Democrats wrote:  “Over the past nine months, Ranking Member Cummings and other Democrats have joined in signing more than 300 letters you have sent to federal agencies, private companies, and individuals in support of investigations you initiated.  We believe we have shown good faith in supporting your priorities, and we now ask that you support ours.  The American people—including Democrats, Republicans, and Independents—are fed up with drug companies putting profits before people, and this issue affects the constituents of every single Member of Congress.”

Click here to see the letter to Chairman Chaffetz. 

114th Congress