US House Drug Pricing Hearings Start Slow As Pharma Execs Dodge Some Punches
Bristol Myers Squibb CEO Giovanni Caforio, former Celgene CEO Mark Alles and Teva CEO Kare Schultz fielded roughly four hours of questioning at an oversight hearing on pricing practices for Revlimid and Copaxone.
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House Oversight Committee plans to grill more companies on pricing later this year, but rushed rollout of reports from a long-running investigation, combined with competing higher profile news events, seemed to dampen the blow of the latest drug pricing scrutiny. Democrats failed to offer any new, unified solutions for their grievances with industry, while Republicans largely rushed to pharma’s defense.
Amgen CEO Bradway told Congress the biggest driver of list pricing for Enbrel has been the need to match the price of AbbVie's Humira to secure formulary access.
Investigative reports from the House Oversight and Reform Committee recount well-known records of significant price increases for the drugs, the lack of pricing restraints in the US relative to markets abroad, tactics used to protect the drugs from generic competition and the 'return on investment' from manufacturer assistance programs.