Republicans Block Drug Price Investigation to Protect Stock Prices

hand declining investigation folder; drug price investigation blocked by republicans

House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has launched an investigation to find out how drug companies set their prices. But some House Republicans on the Committee are trying to interfere with the drug price investigation by encouraging drug companies to withhold requested information. Their reasoning? The release of said information could damage stock prices of the drug companies.

The investigation

In January, Cummings sent letters to 12 drug companies requesting information on pricing strategies, investments, research, and development. Companies tied up in the drug price investigation include Pfizer, Sanofi, Eli Lilly and Company, and Johnson & Johnson. The House Oversight Committee is specifically requesting information on some of America’s  most expensive prescription drugs, like Humira, Lantus, Crestor, and Lyrica.

Republican interference

Representatives Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Mark Meadows (R-NC), leaders of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, sent letters to each drug company discouraging them from releasing the requested information. Jordan’s office insists the letters encourage companies to cooperate with “responsible and legitimate” oversight, suggesting that it is up to the drug companies to decide which information to publicly disclose.

In the letters, Jordan and Meadows predict that Cummings will release “cherry-picked excerpts” from the investigation in order to tank the industry’s stock prices as well as those of each individual drug company.

Cummings’s response

In a statement released to The Hill, Cummings said, “Rep. Jordan is on the absolute wrong side here—he would rather protect drug company ‘stock prices’ than the interest of the American people. I don’t know why on earth the House Republicans keep going to the mat to protect drug company profits instead of the families in their own districts who are getting hammered every single day. Even President Trump agrees that drug companies are ‘getting away with murder,’ so why don’t House Republicans?”

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