House Oversight Committee Reports on Drug Price Fixing

On September 30, 2020, The House Oversight and Reform Committee reported the first findings from its 18-month investigation into drug companies’ pricing practices, focusing on Teva’s Copaxone and Bristol Myers Squib’s Revlimid, ahead of two days of hearings with manufacturers over continually skyrocketing prices. In January 2019, the committee sent letters seeking a broad range of documents and information. The investigation uncovered new details about the specific tactics drug companies are using to raise prices, maximize profits, and suppress competition. The Committee found that drug companies are attempting to take advantage of the federal law that prohibits Medicare from negotiating lower prices directly with drug companies, and that internal company documents show that manufacturers’ claims that price increases are due to rebates and R&D costs are pretextual.

Teva Copaxone Price Increases

According to the report, since launching Copaxone in 1997, Teva raised the price 27 times, raising the price per year of treatment from less than $10K in 1997 to nearly $70K today. Teva’s net U.S. revenue for Copaxone increased from $411M in 2002 to over $3.3B in 2016. Internal discussion by Teva executives indicate a known link between generic delay and corporate bonuses. The report reveals that Teva’s internal documents also discuss the return on investment for money put into co-pay assistance charities. A 2011 presentation touted that Teva’s co-pay program had an average return on investment of 451%. The report also finds that Teva  manipulated the release of new dosages and used other exclusionary tactics to delay generic competition.

Bristol Myers Squibb Revlimid Price Increases

From 2005 to 2019, Celgene was the sole U.S. manufacturer of Revlimid. In November 2019, Bristol Myers Squibb acquired Celgene and, along with it, the rights to Revlimid. Since launching Revlimid in 2005, Celgene raised the price of the drug 22 times, from $215 per pill to $719 per pill. After Bristol Myers Squibb obtained the rights to Revlimid last November, it raised the price of Revlimid again, to $763 per pill. Due to these price increases, Celgene’s net U.S. revenue for Revlimid increased from $1 billion in 2009 to nearly $6.5 billion in 2018.

Price Fixing Lawyers

Schneider Wallace has successfully represented insurance companies and other institutional plaintiffs in recovering for price fixing. Schedule an appointment with our legal team to learn more. Schneider Wallace has offices in California, Texas, North Carolina and Puerto Rico and litigates in jurisdictions throughout the country in state and federal administrative agencies and courts.