Bernie Sanders calls in Merck, J&J, and Bristol Myers Squibb
WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), on Tuesday mounted a public pressure campaign to get the executives of Merck, Johnson & Johnson, and Bristol Myers Squibb to testify in a January hearing on why the United States pays more for prescription drugs than other countries.
All three companies have sued the Biden administration over the new Medicare drug price negotiation that congressional Democrats passed last year. Bristol Myers Squibb’s blood thinner Eliquis; Johnson & Johnson’s blood thinner Xarelto, anti-inflammatory medicine Stelara, and blood cancer treatment Imbruvica; and Merck’s diabetes drug Januvia were selected as part of the first 10 drugs to go through the negotiation process.
It’s unclear whether the executives will agree to testify at the hearing, which is titled “Why Does the United States Pay, By Far, The Highest Prices In The World For Prescription Drugs?” Sanders also put out a fundraising email just before the letter was announced, with the subject line: “The greed of the pharmaceutical industry is out of control.” It featured an op-ed he wrote for the Guardian Monday.