Posted 17 August 2017
By Zachary Brennan
Democratic Reps. Elijah E. Cummings (MD) and Peter Welch (VT) on Thursday sent letters to seven pharmaceutical companies requesting information about the skyrocketing prices for drugs used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS).
Cummings and Welch cited an American Academy of Neurology study finding that some companies appear to be increasing their prices when competitors do the same, a practice known as "shadow pricing."
The study reported that annual MS drug sales doubled from $4 billion in 2008 to nearly $9 billion in 2012. Similarly, the cost of the average annual disease-modifying MS therapy was $16,050 per patient in 2004, which increased to more than $60,000 in 2015 and by 2017 increased to more than $85,000 per year.
The letters cite the example of the rising price of Teva’s blockbuster Copaxone (glatiramer), generic versions of which have struggled to hit the market.
Letters were sent to the following companies requesting information on profits and expenses, among other data, by 31 August 2017:
Cummings and Welch Launch Investigation of Drug Companies’ Skyrocketing Prices for MS Drugs