Oversight Committee Launches “Sweeping Drug Price Investigation” Regarding Biologics

On Jan. 14, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, issued a press release that his office had sent letters to 12 drug companies seeking “detailed information and documents about the companies’ pricing practices,”  including material regarding price increases, investments in research and development, and corporate strategies to preserve market share and pricing power.  The drugs investigated include biologics Humira, Enbrel, and Lantus.

The press release noted that the letters are the “first step in the Committee’s comprehensive review of pricing practices” and that the federal government “bears much of the financial burden of escalating drug prices” through its spending on Medicare Part D. That spending is projected to reach $99 billion in 2019.