Drug Hearing to Look Into ‘Mystery’ of Prices, Grassley Says

(Bloomberg) -- A congressional hearing Tuesday with drug company executives is aimed at solving the “mystery” of medicine pricing, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

“We are going to get to the bottom of the secrecy, to get transparency in the system so that the marketplace works,” the Iowa Republican said, noting that there’s bipartisan concern about drug prices.

Grassley said he plans to ask executives to explain how they arrive at the price that consumers pay. Pfizer Inc. Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. CEO Giovanni Caforio, AbbVie Inc. CEO Richard Gonzalez and Merck & Co. CEO Kenneth Frazier are scheduled to testify at the hearing.

“We don’t want these executives today to point fingers at someone else to blame,” he said.

Soaring drug prices have become a lightning rod in Washington, and drug companies have long pinned climbing prescription costs on rebates that pharmacy-benefit managers negotiate when agreeing to cover certain medicines.

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