Tuesday: Oversight Committee Holds Drug Pricing Hearing Long Sought by Cummings

Jan 21, 2016
Press Release

Tuesday: Oversight Committee Holds Drug Pricing Hearing Long Sought by Cummings


Turing, Valeant Executives to Testify


Washington, D.C.—On Tuesday, January 26, 2016, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing requested by Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings as part of his ongoing efforts to investigate the sharp price increases for critically important medications and their effects on patients, hospitals, and healthcare providers.  The Committee will hear from top executives from Turing and Valeant Pharmaceuticals, and the Committee has subpoenaed Martin Shkreli, the 32-year-old former hedge-fund manager and former Turing CEO who raised the price of a life-saving drug used by cancer and HIV/AIDS patients from $13.50 to $750 per pill overnight.

“For more than a year, I have pressed the Committee to investigate the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs, and I’m pleased that the Chairman has now agreed to hold this hearing,” Cummings said.  “Constituents in all of our districts are affected by these massive price hikes, and they are fed up with watching major drug companies rake in record profits while they struggle to afford their medicines.  I hope Congress and the American people will finally get some answers about these companies’ corrupted business models, and that we will be able to start identifying solutions to prevent these abuses from happening in the future.”

At the beginning of the 114th Congress and at the request of Ranking Member Cummings, the Committee voted unanimously to adopt an oversight plan that included a commitment to investigate price increases of certain drugs.  Since then, Cummings has been investigating the prescription drug industry with the goal of ensuring that all Americans have access to the drugs they need:

  • Cummings aggressively sought information from Shrkeli after he increased the price of Daraprim overnight. Cummings also sent a letter to Shkreli asking for documents and information regarding allegations that Turing was harming patients by hindering access to Daraprim for certain 340B Drug Discount Program entities.  
  • Cummings led efforts to investigate Valeant Pharmaceuticals—before recent reports of potential wrongdoing.  He first requested that the Oversight Committee investigate Valeant last May, sent his own document requests in August, and led all Committee Democrats in demanding a subpoena when the company refused to comply in September.  The company’s stock fell 17%, and the Department of Justice issued a subpoena demanding information about how Valeant prices and distributes its drugs.
  • Previously, in 2014, Cummings and Senator Bernie Sanders sent letters to 14 drug companies to investigate the impacts of sudden price hikes.  When many companies refused to provide the requested documents, Cummings requested an investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General, who found that the skyrocketing prices of these drugs cost taxpayers an additional $1.4 billion over the last decade.

Cummings introduced two key pieces of legislation to make prescription drugs more affordable for everyone.  This Congress, Cummings introduced the Medicaid Generic Drug Price Fairness Act—which was included and passed into law as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015—and the Prescription Drug Affordability Act, which would strengthen Medicare’s negotiating power; enhance drug price and cost transparency; and encourage competition in the drug market.

Last year, the Kaiser Family Foundation issued a report finding that the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs is the number one healthcare priority for the American people.  The report found that 77% of those surveyed, including Democrats, Republicans, and independents, identified this issue as their top health concern over all others.




  • Martin Shkreli, Former CEO, Turing
  • Nancy Retzlaff, Chief Commercial Officer, Turing
  • Howard B. Schiller, Interim CEO, Valeant
  • Dr. Janet Woodcock, Director, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, FDA
  • Mark Merritt, President and CEO, Pharmaceutical Care Management Association


WHERE:       2154 Rayburn House Office Building


TIME:           2:00 p.m. EST 

114th Congress