Rep. Cummings opens investigation into drug prices

|About: AbbVie Inc. (ABBV)|By:, SA News Editor

Following through on his previously announced commitment, U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD 7th District), Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has opened an investigation into the pricing practices of 12 drugmakers, demanding information and documents on pricing approaches, R&D investments and corporate strategies designed to preserve market share and price power. He says that he will remain "laser focused" on the matter. A hearing is set for January 29, the first of several planned.

The targeted companies are: AbbVie (ABBV -2.6%), Amgen (AMGN -1.7%), AstraZeneca (AZN -3.7%), Celgene (CELG -0.1%), Eli Lilly (LLY -1.5%), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ -1.1%), Mallinckrodt (MNK +0.1%), Novartis (NVS -1.1%), Novo Nordisk (NVO -3.7%), Pfizer (PFE -1.3%), Sanofi (SNY -1.7%) and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA -0.1%).

Last week, Rep. Cummings and Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) introduced a bill aimed at curbing the rise in drug prices.

This year, the U.S. government will spend ~$99B for medicines under Medicare Part D. Prices of brand-name meds increased 62% from 2011 to 2015, even allowing for rebates and a 17% drop in prescriptions. 94% of widely used branded medicines more than doubled between 2005 and 2017.

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