The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a Feb. 4 hearing, Developments in the Prescription Drug Market: Oversight, to examine recent drug price increases, drug price negotiation and the lack of transparency in the negotiation process, and barriers facing generic drug applications.
Five witnesses will speak at the hearing, including Janet Woodcock, MD, director, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, U.S. Food and Drug Administration; and Martin Shkreli, the controversial former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC.
Shkreli attracted scrutiny by the media and Congress last year after reports that, under Shkreli, Turing acquired the manufacturing license for an antiparasitic drug and increased the price from $13.50 to $750 a pill – an 5,556 percent increase. Shkreli’s attorneys have said he will not answer questions at the Feb. 4 hearing. Similarly, Shkreli refused to respond to a subpoena issued by the Senate Special Committee on Aging, claiming his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
The Senate Committee on Finance also is looking into the skyrocketing cost of drugs. The committee sent a letter to health care stakeholders asking for feedback on how to manage drug prices. The request for feedback follows an investigation on the price of Sovaldi, a drug developed to manage hepatitis C.
Also Feb. 4, the Finance Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of Mary Wakefield to serve as Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Both the House and Senate are in session this week and next.