Congressmen Say Pricing for Multiple Sclerosis Drugs Doesn’t Add Up


Manufacturers of multiple sclerosis drugs may be raising prices for the costly treatments in lockstep with each other, two Congressional Democrats said.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Rep. Peter Welch, (D-Vt.), a senior Democrat on both the Oversight Committee and the Committee on Energy and Commerce, asked seven manufacturers of the pricey to explain pricing practices for their MS drugs by Aug. 31.

The Congressmen are receiving responses from the companies and are reviewing them, a minority staffer for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform told me Sept. 1. Once everything is reviewed, the House members would provide an update, the staffer said. 

“Some drug companies appear to be in their prices and setting new higher prices in lockstep with competitors—a strategy known as “shadow pricing,” the letters sent to Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc., Biogen, EMD Serono, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., Sanofi Genzyme, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Roche Pharmaceuticals said.

The companies were asked to provide a breakdown of their profits and expenses for their MS drugs plus additional documents, contracts and related information on the products, such as contracts with pharmacy benefit managers and distributors.

The letter to Bayer is available at http://src.bna.com/scw.

Additional letters are available at http://src.bna.com/scx.

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