The interim chief executive of pharmaceutical company Valeant and infamous former Turing CEO Martin Shkreli are facing Congress right now.
Legislators want them to answer for dramatic drug price increases that impact the lives of Americans.
Shkreli infamously caught national attention when his company purchased a life-saving drug called Daraprim and then raised the price over 5,000%.
On Tuesday Representative Elijah Cummings released damning internal documents from both Turing and Valeant. They made it sound like both companies treated pricing as an arbitrage strategy to make tons of money off their monopolies of their drugs.
Shkreli, who is known for his bombastic, grating personality, has said that he will plea the fifth, and not speak during his testimony. He is under investigation for an unrelated matter in the state of New York.
Wall Street is closely watching Valeant interim CEO Howard Schiller. The company’s stock was a darling until accusations of malfeasance from a short seller and government scrutiny over pricing chopped off a quarter of its stock price last year. Schiller’s prepared remarks are here.
“When these drugs are priced to reflect more closely their true clinical value, the more accurate price signals incentivise generic competition and innovation. Higher prices draw generic competitors into the market, which in
turn tends to put significant downward pressure on prices,” his statement said.
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At the hearing, Cumming said that “it’s not funny, people are dying” because drug companies “jacked up” prices.
“These tactics are not limited to a few “bad apples.” They are prominent throughout the entire industry. Lannett, Pfizer, Horizon, Teva, Amphastar, Allergan, Endo — all of these companies have taken significant price increases on their drugs,” he said.