THE HILL – Drug companies are deliberately targeting the U.S. to raise prices and game the patent system to delay generic competition in a way that is “unsustainable, unjustified, and unfair to patients and taxpayers,” according to the findings from a new investigation released Friday by House Democrats.
The investigation focused on 10 companies that sell 12 of the most expensive drugs to Medicare, including insulin, and found those companies collectively raised prices more than 250 times.
The drugs in the committee’s investigation are now priced at a median of almost 500 percent higher than when they were brought to market, the report found.
All 10 companies have compensation structures that tie incentive payments to revenue and other financial targets, and several companies directly tied incentive compensation to drug-specific revenue targets, the report found.
The 269-page report from the staff of the House Oversight and Reform Committee is the culmination of a three year investigation started by the late Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who was the committee’s chairman until his death in 2019.
Staff said they reviewed more than 1.5 million pages of documents — including internal strategy documents, communications among top executives, board materials and nonpublic pricing data.
It also builds off a series of hearings with executives from many of the companies examined in the report.
The report seeks to push back on the claims by the drug industry that price increases are necessary in order to fund research and development into new cures and serves as a call for the Senate to pass the Build Back Better legislation that would allow Medicare to negotiate the prices of some drugs.
The House passed its version of the bill last month, and Senate Democratic leaders are aiming to pass the legislation before Christmas.
But Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is still not on board with the timeline, and Democrats need his support … read more.