Looks like Congress is also curious about the mystery of persistent generic drug inflation. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD) sent information requests to 14 generic pharmaceutical manufacturers. Below, I list the companies and provide direct links to the letters.
As you can see from the questions (also listed below), the congressmen are requesting details about pricing, contracts, purchasers, costs, and other internal details.
Political grandstanding, or a potential turning point for generic inflation? Even the most interesting man in the world doesn't know.
For background about the generic drug inflation trend, see these Drug Channels articles:
- Retail Generic Drug Costs Go Up, Up, and Away (November 2013)
- Retail Generic Drug Inflation Reaches New Heights (August 2014)
- Winners and Losers from Generic Drug Inflation (August 2014)
The 14 following companies received letters from Senator Sanders and Representative Cummings. Each link points to that company’s letter, so you can download your favorite.
According to GPhA disputes lawmakers on generic prices, the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) challenged the data, partly by citing Drug Channels. I'm flattered, but want readers to know that I have no relationship with GPhA and didn't know that GPhA was going to cite my work. (I don't even have a copy of the letter!)
The congressmen requested that each company provides “the following documents and information for the time period covering January 1, 2012, to the present”:
- total gross revenues from the company's sales of these drugs;
- the dates, quantities, purchasers, and prices paid for all sales of these drugs;
- total expenses relating to the sales of these drugs, as well as the specific amounts for manufacturing, marketing and advertising, and purchases of active pharmaceutical ingredients, if applicable;
- sales contracts or purchase agreements for active pharmaceutical ingredients for these drugs, including any agreements relating to exclusivity, if applicable;
- a description and valuation of the specific financial and non-financial factors that contributed to your company’s decisions to increase the prices of these drugs;
- any cost estimates, profit projections, or other analyses relating to the company’s current and future sales of these drugs;
- prices of these drugs in all foreign countries or markets, including price information for the countries paying the highest and lowest prices; and
- the identity of company official(s) responsible for setting the price of these drugs over the above time period.