Warren Seeks Senate Hearing on Generic-Drug Price-Fixing Reports

(Bloomberg) -- Senator Elizabeth Warren called for hearings on allegations of price fixing by generic drug makers, asking Republican committee leaders to investigate the industry alongside ongoing probes by state and federal authorities of more than a dozen companies.

  • In a Dec. 17 letter to Senate colleagues, Warren said “generic drug markets are plagued by anti-consumer behavior and anti-competitive features that go far beyond high-profile price hikes,” with many medications only made by one or two companies.

Key Insights

  • Sustained attention from Republicans and Democrats on drug prices ahead of the 2020 presidential race -- which Warren is likely to enter -- will make it harder for manufacturers to raise prices without backlash.
  • The Trump administration has tried to encourage competition in the generics industry by lowering barriers to entry. Warren is trying to frame the issue around corporate misbehavior, a theme that appeals to her Democratic supporters.
  • The Massachusetts Democrat is also introducing a bill to create a government agency to manufacture generic drugs in cases where there are few companies making the medications. Nothing like that is likely to pass a divided Congress next session, but Warren is mapping out more aggressive drug prices policy than many other Democrats.

Get More

  • Read Warren’s opinion piece on the generic-drug industry here.
  • Read a Bloomberg Intelligence analysis of the cases here.

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