Posts Tagged “Investigation”
U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday accused three major pharmaceutical companies of “coordinated obstruction” and “apparent efforts to stonewall” an investigation on generic drug prices launched in 2014. Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight, Elijah Cummings, D-Md., along with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., sent letters to Mylan, Teva Pharmaceutical and Heritage Pharmaceuticals asking them to turn over documents, according to a joint statement Wednesday. The lawmakers said they decided to open an investigation following findings in a lawsuit filed by 44 states in May that accused the drugmakers and others of inflating drug prices and stifling competition for generic drug versions.
“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 in each of the letters, dated August 13. Shares of Mylan and Teva Pharmaceutical were each down roughly 8% on Wednesday. A spokesperson for Mylan said the company, with the help of outside counsel, is investigation the allegations made in the states’ lawsuit.
“We have not found any evidence to corroborate the allegations. We are prepared to make our case in a court…
The NHS has been given an £8m payout from a pharmaceutical firm after an investigation found that it engaged in anti-competitive practices that pushed up the cost of a life-saving drug for the health service. It is the first time that the Competition and Markets Authority has secured such a payment to the NHS as part of one of its investigations. Aspen, which is also facing a fine of up to £2.1m, supplies the NHS with fludrocortisone, a life-saving medicine mainly used to treat Addison’s disease. It is paid for by the NHS.
“The CMA launched this investigation because we consider it unacceptable for the NHS – and the taxpayers who fund it – to have to pay millions of pounds more than they should for this life-saving drug,” said Andrea Coscelli, the chief executive of the CMA. The CMA’s investigation found that Aspen struck deals to pay two rival companies to stay out of the market for the drug, making Aspen the sole supplier and able to set prices without facing competition. During the CMA’s investigation Aspen made an approach to the regulator in an effort to resolve the case. The company has admitted that it was part of…
Parents who say their babies were damaged by a pregnancy test drug have warned manufacturers and the government that they are preparing to take legal action. Lawyers representing more than 200 claimants have written letters accusing two drug companies and the UK regulators of being negligent and putting patients at risk. The drug Primodos was given to women in the 1960s and 70s. It was made up of two pills which would induce a period in women who were not pregnant. However, many families believe that if the mother was pregnant, it damaged or even killed their children in the womb. If successful the claim could be worth millions as the alleged victims all suffer with a variety of life-changing difficulties, including limb malformations, musculoskeletal abnormalities, heart defects and brain injuries. Some parents are also claiming still births were caused by the drug.
The proposed legal action follows a Sky News investigation in 2017 where we found documents in German archives showing manufacturers were warned by UK regulators that those using the drug had an increased risk of malformations – and that records from that study appeared to have been deliberately destroyed in order to frustrate any future legal action….
Citing a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Recto said the Philippines led Southeast Asia in terms of reported cases of pharmaceutical crime, accounting for 193 of the 673 incidents reported from 2013 to 2017. Recto, who filed a resolution seeking an investigation into the matter, said the UN agency report was a cause for “alarm and action.” About P187 billion of the P372.8 billion “out-of-pocket” health expenditures of Filipino families in 2017 went to pharmacies, he said.
Genito-urinary therapeutic products (including erectile dysfunction products), central nervous system (CNS) drugs and anti-infectives were most frequently affected by counterfeiting while cardiovascular drugs, CNS drugs, and alimentary (e.g. nutrition supplements) and metabolism drugs were the most frequently affected by illicit diversion, the UNODC said.
Members of Congress from both parties served notice on pharmaceutical companies on Tuesday that the days of unchecked drug-price increases were over and that they would be held politically accountable for exorbitant prices.
The new reality became apparent at simultaneous but separate hearings of House and Senate committees where lawmakers said that the relentless increases were unsustainable and unacceptable.
“There is a strong bipartisan consensus that we must do something to rein in out-of-control price increases,” said Representative Elijah E. Cummings, Democrat of Maryland and the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. “Drug companies make money hand over fist by raising the prices of their drugs — often without justification and sometimes overnight — while patients are left holding the bill.”
On the other side of the Capitol, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa and the chairman of the Finance Committee, and Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the senior Democrat on the panel, denounced drug company executives who they said had refused to testify voluntarily.
Mr. Grassley expressed “displeasure at the lack of cooperation from the pharmaceutical manufacturers” and vowed to insist on their testimony in coming months.
Mr. Wyden said: “Even the Big Tobacco C.E.O.s…
Since flipping the House of Representatives in last year’s midterms, Democrats have been waiting to see real oversight return to the halls of Congress. That arrived on Tuesday, with the Committee on Oversight and Reform’s first hearing of 2019. But the subject at hand may have disappointed those who were hoping for a dramatic broadside against the Trump administration.
“Our first witness today is not President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen,” said chairman Elijah Cummings. “It’s not someone from the White House or even the Trump administration… The first witness is Antoinette Worsham.”
Worsham, a working mother from Cincinnati wearing a T-shirt reading “Patients Over Profits,” told the committee about her two daughters, both of whom were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. When the oldest, Antavia, turned 21, she was kicked off the Bureau for Children of Medical Handicaps, a state program that helped pay for her insulin. Unable to afford the medication, Antavia began to ration it. Eventually, she died. Worsham’s second child, Antanique, a freshman at the University of Toledo, fears the same fate.
“In two years my daughter will be 21,” Worsham told the committee, her voice cracking. “I am crying out and asking for you to…
Not content with billions of dollars in profits from the potent painkiller OxyContin, its maker explored expanding into an “attractive market” fueled by the drug’s popularity—treatment of opioid addiction, according to previously secret passages in a court document filed by the state of Massachusetts.
In internal correspondence beginning in 2014, Purdue Pharma executives discussed how the sale of opioids and the treatment of opioid addiction are “naturally linked” and that the company should expand across “the pain and addiction spectrum,” according to redacted sections of the lawsuit by the Massachusetts attorney general. A member of the billionaire Sackler family, which founded and controls the privately held company, joined in those discussions and urged staff in an email to give “immediate attention” to this business opportunity, the complaint alleges.
ProPublica reviewed the scores of redacted paragraphs in Massachusetts’ 274-page civil complaint against Purdue, eight Sackler family members, company directors, and current and former executives, which alleges that they created the opioid epidemic through illegal deceit. These passages remain blacked out at the company’s request after the rest of the complaint was made public on January 15th. A Massachusetts Superior Court judge on Monday ordered that the entire document be released, but…
The pharmaceutical industry, pilloried by President Trump for the last two years, is war-gaming for the possibility that its worst fear is realized: that Democrats, if they flip control of the House, find common ground with the president to rein in drug prices.
Democrats say they are determined to squeeze the industry’s prices and profits, and they have a stack of legislative proposals that could do so. Drug makers are quietly making contingency plans.
“As the midterm elections approach, a feeling of foreboding has settled over the pharmaceutical industry,” said John E. McManus, a Republican health care lobbyist whose clients include major drug companies, as well as their trade association, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
“Combine the rising blue wave — the Democrat fixation on pharmaceutical pricing — with President Trump’s populist focus on getting credit for cutting patients’ drug costs, and the industry could be confronting a perfect storm in 2019,” Mr. McManus said.
Soon after his election, Mr. Trump bucked his party and accused drug companies of “getting away with murder.” In May this year, he unveiled a blueprint to lower drug prices. He followed through this past week with a proposal to force drug companies…
Medical schemes in South Africa are appealing to the health department to reject pharmaceutical manufacturers’ request for an extra price increase for medicines, arguing they are already taking strain from 2018’s VAT increase.
Medical schemes would incur additional costs of at least R260m over the next four months if the government agreed to a price increase at the level of consumer price inflation, according to the Health Funders’ Association (HFA), which represents medical schemes and administrators.
The increase in VAT, which rose from 14% to 15% in April, had already imposed an unexpected increase in expenditure of R875m on the industry, it said. Most schemes had absorbed these costs without passing them onto members.
“Based on data from our member organisations, medical schemes have experienced significant cost inflation during the first half of 2018, a trend which is expected to continue through the rest of 2018 and into 2019.
“Overall cost inflation of medicine is driven not only by the [price] adjustment but by volume growth as well, which compounds annual medicine price increases,” said HFA CEO Lerato Mosiah.
“Despite this year’s regulated [price] increase of 1.26%, during the first half of 2018 overall cost inflation for chronic medicines increased…
Michael Chand was working in south-east Iraq as a civilian contractor for American reconstruction efforts when his convoy was attacked in 2007 by forces believed to be loyal to then firebrand Shia cleric Moqtada Al Sadr.
At first, his family were told he was shot and killed. They later learned he was being held hostage at a time when militant attacks on American forces were at their bloodiest.
His body was returned three years later, bearing the hallmarks of torture.
Now his widow is one of the dozens of bereaved relatives who accuse big international pharmaceutical companies of helping bankroll the Mahdi Army in its campaign of violence through kickbacks of medicine and supplies given to the Iraqi ministry of health which was then under Mr Al Sadr’s control.
For Washington, Mr Al Sadr has been the most vocal opponent of the American war. His militias were blamed for deadly attacks on a US-backed political opponent and soldiers, triggering an arrest warrant for murder that was never executed. But in recent years he has moved away from his openly anti-US stance and the position in Washington has softened.
The five pharmaceutical companies deny the allegations but this week it emerged…