Rep. Porter slams Big Pharma CEO over drug pricing
UPDATED 10:47 AM PT – Thursday, October 1, 2020
Democrat Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) took aim at Celgene CEO Mark Alles for repeatedly increasing the price of prescription drug Revlimid.
During a House Oversight Committee hearing Wednesday, Porter pulled out her whiteboard to call out the connection between the increase in the price of the drug and the increase in Alles’ salary and bonuses.
Revlimid is used to treat multiple myeloma, which is type of blood cancer that affects plasma cells. Since the drug’s launch in 2005, Celgene raised the price of the drug 22 times, which Porter claims was to benefit the company’s CEO.
“In fact, you personally received half a million dollars personally just by tripling the price of Revlimid,” Porter stated. “So to recap here, the drug didn’t get any better, the cancer patients didn’t get any better — you just got better at making money.”
TODAY >> I asked a Big Pharma CEO to justify why his company raised the price of a lifesaving cancer drug by over $500 *per pill* since it first hit the market. He couldn’t answer.
This same CEO made $13 MILLION in 2017— including a $500,000 bonus for this price hike. https://t.co/3KWm6tcXC0
— Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) September 30, 2020
Revlimid now costs more than $16,000 for a month-long course and Alles was unable to answer representatives’ questions as to why the price increase did not result in an increase in the drug’s efficacy.