Senate hearing will explore soaring prices of generic drugs

November 14, 2014

A Senate panel is scheduled to hold a hearing on November 20, 2014, to investigate why the prices of some generic drugs are skyrocketing.

A Senate panel is scheduled to hold a hearing on November 20, 2014, to investigate why the prices of some generic drugs are skyrocketing.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal recently reported that the U.S. Department of Justice has issued subpoenas to two generic drugmakers seeking information about their interactions with competitors.

Related: Lawmakers investigating soaring generic drug prices

“We’ve got to get to the bottom of these enormous price increases,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who chairs the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging. “It is unacceptable that Americans pay, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. Generic drugs were meant to help make medications affordable for the millions of Americans who rely on prescriptions to manage their health needs, and now some of them are becoming unaffordable.”

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said the skyrocketing prices of some generic drugs are preventing Americans from getting critical medications. “I applaud the Department of Justice for also looking into the root causes of these huge increases, so that every American has access to the medications they need,” Cummings said.

Sanders and Cummings recently pointed to the example of digoxin, used to treat congestive heart failure. Sold at 11 cents a pill in October of 2012, the same product sold for $1.10 a pill this past June. In another example, a bottle of doxycycline hyclate antibiotic pills went from $20 to $1,849.