As part of its probe into pharmaceutical industry pricing tactics, a Congressional committee next month plans to hold a hearing and grill AbbVie (ABBV) chief executive officer Richard Gonzalez, whose company at one point faced a subpoena for refusing to cooperate with the investigation.
The move comes after the House Committee on Oversight and Reform last fall released a series of reports detailing how different drug makers engaged in “anticompetitive conduct” to maintain high prices and market share for expensive medicines. The effort reflects concern over rising prescription drug prices and Congressional interest in any illegal strategies companies use to thwart competition.
At the time, the committee pointed to an instance where Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) used its monopoly to shift patients to higher-priced version of a medicine before lower-cost competition arrived on the market. In another example, Amgen (AMGN) and Novartis (NVS) were cited for settling patent litigation with generic rivals that, as part of the deals, agreed to delay sales of their lower-priced versions.