WASHINGTON, D.C. — Executives from seven major drug corporations will testify before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday to explain their pricing practices and the fact that American patients and taxpayers pay more for drugs than anywhere in the world. In the lead up to the hearing, Patients For Affordable Drugs Now reviewed the pricing history of each corporation and developed questions patients want answered from the Pharma CEOs.
“We hear every day from patients suffering under the high cost of prescription drugs,” said David Mitchell, a cancer patient and the founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. “Patients deserve answers, and we need Congressional action to stop this abuse of American patients from continuing.”
U.S. patients and taxpayers spend more than $450 billion each year on prescription drugs, by some estimates, nearly one-fifth of all health care costs. Patent-protected brand-name drugs drive spending, making up only about 10 percent of prescriptions but accounting for three-quarters of drug spending.
You can read Patients For Affordable Drugs Now’s full testimony for the record here. Below please find a summary of pricing practices and key questions for the Pharma CEOs.

About AbbVie: AbbVie’s anti-inflammatory drug Humira is the top-selling drug in the world. The drug company doubled the price from about $19,000 per year in 2012 to $38,000 per year in 2018. AbbVie secured more than 100 patents on Humira, ensuring that patent thickets will keep competition off the U.S. market. Meanwhile, the company cut the price in Europe by 80 percent for the exact same drug. 


About Pfizer: Pfizer’s history of price hikes is as staggering as it is long. Here’s a look at the last three years: In 2017, Pfizer raised the price of 91 drugs by 20 percent — that was nearly 10 times the rate of inflation. In mid-2018, Pfizer announced price hikes on about 100 prescription drugs. After temporary freezes, Pfizer raised the raised the price of 40 drugs in January 2019.

About Sanofi: Almost 30 million Americans live with diabetes and 6 million need insulin to survive. From 2010 to 2015, Sanofi raised the price of the lifesaving diabetes drug Lantus by 168 percent.


About Merck: Merck is no stranger to drug price increases. From January 2017 to mid-2018, Merck raised the price of Januvia by nearly 20 percent. In November 2018, the corporation raised the price on five drugs, including top-selling Gardasil and Keytruda.


About Johnson & Johnson: Since 2012, Johnson & Johnson has raised the price of its blockbuster drug Xarelto by 87 percent. In January of 2019, the company raised the price on about two dozen drugs.

About Bristol-Myers Squibb: Over the last eight years, Bristol-Myers Squibb has spent over$25 million in lobbying expenditures and $1.75 million in campaign contributions, according to Open Secrets. The company raised the price of its blockbuster drug Eliquis by 6 percentin January 2019. Last year alone, U.S. patients paid Bristol-Myers Squibb $3.8 billion for Eliquis, a 30 percent year-over-year increase.

About AstraZeneca: AstraZeneca has a history of charging cancer patients high prices. Here are three examples: Imfinzi costs $180,000 per year for lung cancer, Lynparza costs around $15,000 for 112 pills for ovarian cancer, and Iressa costs $8,000 for 30 pills for lung cancer. And before AstraZeneca faced a generic competitor for its high cholesterol drug, Crestor, the company raised prices multiple times, including by about 15 percent right before a generic competitor came to market.