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Cummings Issues Statement on Valeant’s Pricing Changes

May 16, 2016
Press Release

Cummings Issues Statement on Valeant’s Pricing Changes

 

Washington, D.C. (May 16, 2016)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued the following statement after Valeant Pharmaceuticals’ new CEO, Joseph Papa, announced a plan to offer rebates for two of its hospital-administered heart drugs, Isuprel and Nitropress: 

“For several years, I have been pressing drug company CEOs to stop treating innocent patients like collateral damage and hospitals like ATMs by  raising the price of critical drugs to line their own pockets.  

“I appreciate that Valeant has now gotten a new CEO and is offering rebates on two of its drugs of 10% to 40%.

“This is a small step in the right direction, but it comes nowhere close to fully addressing this critical problem.  A year ago, Valeant increased prices on these same two drugs by 525% and 212%, so slightly trimming their massive price increases now still forces our nation’s hospitals to pay millions of dollars more each year. 

“Valeant also made no mention of its massive price increases on other drugs.  Valeant may be trying to preserve as much of its profits as possible while stemming the negative publicity it has gotten over the past year, but the problem is not just Valeant. 

Today’s announcement must not distract us from the destruction caused by skyrocketing drug prices.  We are all paying for these exorbitant price increases.  This is a corrupt business model used by drug company CEOs across the industry to raise drug prices to line their own pockets.  American families should not be forced to choose between their medications and their mortgage.”

Cummings is scheduled to meet personally with Valeant’s new CEO today to discuss how the company’s changes will be implemented and to address broader issues with its drug pricing policies.

Cummings first requested pricing information about Isuprel and Nitropress in 2014 when they were sold by Marathon Pharmaceuticals.  In October 2014, Cummings and Senator Bernie Sanders, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, sent a letter requesting information about why Marathon increased the prices of the two drugs by nearly 400%.

On August 14, 2015, Cummings and Sanders sent a letter to Valeant after it increased prices for Isuprel and Nitropress by 525% and 212% immediately after buying the drugs from Marathon in February 2015.  Valeant is the only company that sells these two life-saving medications.   

The Oversight Committee held a hearing on February 4, 2016, with Howard Schiller, who was serving as Valeant’s interim CEO at the time.  Cummings released a memo ahead of the hearing summarizing efforts by Valeant executives who are “lining their pockets at the expense of some of the most vulnerable families in our nation.”

114th Congress