Sun, Dr Reddy's named in US Congress price probe

US Senator Mr Bernie Sanders and US Rep. Mr Elijah E Cummings have launched an investigation into soaring generic drug prices


Mr Bernie Sanders, US Senator, Vermont

The US Congress has written to 14 generic drug manufacturers, including three top Indian firms - Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Dr Reddy's Laboratories and Cadila Healthcare - following an abnormal rise in prices of 10 generic medicines.

According to a press release posted in United States Senator for Vermont, Bernie Sanders website, 14 separate letters have been sent to 14 pharmaceutical companies including Indian companies Dr Reddy's, Cadila Healthcare and Sun Pharmaceuticals.

"It is unacceptable that Americans pay, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. Generic drugs were meant to help make medications affordable for the millions of Americans who rely on prescriptions to manage their health needs. We've got to get to the bottom of these enormous price increases," commented Mr Sanders, chairman, Senate Healthcare Subcommittee, and Mr Cummings, ranking member of the House Oversight Committee.

Other companies include, Actavis, Apotex, Endo International, Global Pharmaceuticals, Heritage Pharmaceuticals, Lannett Company, Marathon Pharmaceuticals, Mylan, PAR Pharmaceutical Companies, Teva Pharmaceutical, West-Ward Pharmaceutical, and Zydus Pharmaceuticals USA.

The Senate's Healthcare Subcommittee pointed an example of the price hike for Albuterol Sulfate used to treat asthma and other lung conditions. The average cost for a bottle of 100 pills was $11 last October. However, the average charge by this April had shot up to $434. An antibiotic, Doxycycline Hyclate, cost $20 last October for a bottle of 500 tablets. By April, the price was $1,849, said the statement.

According to CNBC TV18, stock prices of Sun Pharma and Dr Reddy's Labs fell as much as 5 per cent and 3.7 percent intraday, respectively after the US Congress began investigation into price hikes.

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