Sanders, Cummings call on DOJ to investigation generic drug manufacturers’ ‘multi-year conspiracy’ of drug price increase

"The Department of Justice must hold these bad actors accountable to the fullest extent of the law."

Image Credit: Screenshot from CNN

After generic drug manufacturers were accused of a “multi-year conspiracy” of raising prices on medicines by upwards of 1,000 percent, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep Elijah Cummings have called on the Department of Justice to launch an investigation.

“The Department of Justice must hold these bad actors accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” Sanders said.

Forty-four state attorneys general have already filed a lawsuit against several of the generic drug manufacturers and now Sanders and Cummings have followed that up with a letter to the DOJ on Thursday.

While the state attorneys generals are claiming anti-trust laws were broken, Sanders and Cummings said in the letter that it’s time to “prioritize criminal enforcement of federal anti-trust laws against generic drug manufacturers” because “civil enforcement will not be sufficient to protect consumers or businesses that compete fairly.”

Sanders and Cummings also request the DOJ look into whether generic drug manufacturers “coordinated with each other to mislead our offices’ investigation in 2014 into suspicious price increases of generic drugs,” Common Dreams reported.

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“In response to our document and information requests, these companies gave excuses for raising prices – such as the costs of regulatory compliance, drug shortages, and user fees – that were at best, grossly misleading, and at worst, false statements to Congress,” Sanders and Cummings said in the letter. “For these reasons, we request that the Department of Justice open an investigation.”

Some of the companies being accused of committing “one of the most egregious and damaging price-fixing conspiracies in the history of the United States” include Pfizer, Mylan and Novartis, to name a few.

“It is sick and disgraceful that generic pharmaceutical executives, who should be making medicines affordable for the American people, were instead busy coordinating a cover-up scheme to hide the truth about their price-fixing conspiracy when we asked about their skyrocketing prices,” Sanders said.