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Feds Subpoena Mylan Over Pricing of Doxycycline

Lawmakers call for investigation into generic price hikes

The antitrust division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has subpoenaed Mylan N.V. for information related to the pricing and marketing of its generic doxycycline antibiotic products, according to a Reuters report. In a regulatory filing, Mylan said that the DOJ also sought information on any communication with competitors about the antibacterial products.

Doxycycline, which has been on the market for nearly 40 years, is used to treat bacterial infections such as acne, pneumonia, Lyme disease, chlamydia, and syphilis.

Two of Mylan’s competitors, Endo International and Allergan Inc, have received similar subpoenas. Endo said in a November 2015 regulatory filing that it had received a subpoena in December 2014 related to communications with rivals regarding doxycycline and digoxin, a generic drug widely used to treat heart failure. In August, Allergan said that it, too, had received a subpoena from the DOJ’s antitrust division regarding generic products and communications with competitors. It did not disclose which drugs were involved.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings opened an investigation last fall into 14 drug companies, including Mylan and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, over price increases of generic drugs. In February, Sanders and Cummings asked the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate increases in generic drug prices. As an example, they cited doxycycline hyclate 100-mg capsules, the price of which had more than doubled in the year through June 2014.

The discussion over drug pricing has intensified and become part of Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign after Turing Pharmaceuticals boosted the price of Daraprim, a generic medication for parasitic infections, by 5,000% in one day.

Source: Reuters; December 4, 2015.

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