WASHINGTON, February 7—Today, Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) issued a statement following an announcement that the Department of Justice brought an indictment against Ara Aprahamian, the former Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Taro Pharmaceuticals, on charges including conspiring to fix generic drug prices and making false statements to the FBI:
“We are encouraged that the Justice Department is continuing to pursue criminal charges against corporate executives responsible for this vast price-fixing conspiracy,” Sanders and Maloney stated. “If these charges are true, executives artificially inflated prices for drugs that the American people rely on every single day. We urge the Department to pursue additional criminal charges until all of the executives who engaged in these crimes are brought to justice. We also urge DOJ to investigate generic drug companies’ obstruction of our Congressional investigation into their price-fixing schemes.”
In 2014, Sanders and then-Oversight Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings opened an investigation into 14 generic drug companies over suspicious price spikes that appeared coordinated, and renewed their investigation in 2016. Last year, when 44 state attorneys general launched a separate price-fixing lawsuit against 20 generic drug makers which uncovered evidence suggesting the companies coordinated to obstruct the Congressional investigation, Sanders and Cummings contacted the companies once again, demanding both pricing information and information related to the companies’ efforts to stonewall their investigation. In June 2019, Sanders and Cummings wrote to the Justice Department seeking an investigation into more than a dozen executives from numerous generic drug manufacturers who allegedly engaged in a multi-year, multi-billion dollar price-fixing scheme.
Mr. Aprahamian allegedly entered into agreements with Taro Pharmaceuticals’ competitors to increase the prices of numerous drugs, including products used to treat arthritis, seizures, pain, skin conditions, and blood clots.
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