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Sanders calls on Justice Department to investigate Lilly over insulin pricing

Posted at 8:44 PM, Nov 07, 2016

Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Elijah Cummings sent a letter on Thursday requesting that the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Eli Lilly and two other pharmaceutical companies for potential price collusion on insulin.

According to the lawmakers the price of insulin has skyrocketed in recent years. More than tripling between 2002 and 2013 from $231 to $736 per year per patient.

“Not only have these pharmaceutical companies raised insulin prices significantly – sometimes by double digits overnight – in many instances the prices have increased in tandem,” Sanders and Cummings wrote in the letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. “We are concerned that the potential coordination by these drug makers may not simply be a case of ‘shadow pricing’ but may indicate possible collusion.”

The lawmakers say that Eli Lilly has on several occasions matched price increases of its insulin products with Novo Nordisk. Lilly and other companies have previously been fined in Mexico for colluding on insulin prices there.

“We believe this egregious behavior warrants a thorough investigation,” the members wrote.