April 08,2019

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Wyden: Big Pharma Refuses to Commit to Lower Prices, Action by Congress Needed

In Written Responses from Seven Pharma Executives, Companies Do Not Endorse Legislation That Would Lower Prices

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today decried drug makers’ refusal to commit to lowering drug prices if middlemen rebate practices were changed.

“In case there was any doubt, Big Pharma is not about to start self-policing their pricing practices,” Wyden said. “In order to prevent a cash grab that gives drug makers a windfall and leaves consumers stuck with high prices, Congress must take significant action to end business as usual in the broken drug pricing system.” 

In written responses following the committee’s February hearing with seven executives from some of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, the companies would not pledge to support legislation that brought prices down in the event pharmacy benefit manager rebates were reformed and significantly curtailed. 

Wyden’s written questions also asked the companies to disclose information about executive compensation. In the hearing, Wyden asked AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez to justify why his bonuses were tied to higher prices – a clear incentive for the company to continue raising prices on their popular drugs.

The written responses to Wyden’s question can be found here.