Cummings and Sanders Raise Concerns about Assertions to Congress by Heritage Pharmaceuticals While Company Engaged in Alleged Price Fixing

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 — Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Senator Bernie Sanders, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, sent a letter to Heritage Pharmaceuticals requesting information about the company’s assertions to Congress in 2014 while the company was engaged in alleged price fixing of certain drugs, according to the Department of Justice and Attorneys General from 20 different states.

Cummings and Sanders first began investigating Heritage’s pricing practices in 2014 when they sent a letter to the company’s former CEO, Jeffrey Glazer, raising concerns and requesting documents about the sales and pricing of doxycycline hyclate.

In response, Heritage’s counsel sent a letter on October 23, 2014, asserting that “Heritage has not seen any significant price increases for its Doxycycline Hyclate DR product in the United States market.”  Heritage declined to provide any of the documents or information the Members requested.

The individual who signed the letter making these assertions is Gary Ruckelshaus, who served at the time at an outside firm, but now appears to have joined Heritage as Vice President and General Counsel. 

This week, the Department of Justice filed charges against Mr. Glazer and former Heritage President Jason Malek for engaging in price fixing with doxycycline hyclate and another drug.  Attorneys General from 20 states followed with their own complaint yesterday.

“In light of these new criminal allegations against Mr. Glazer and Mr. Malek, we are very concerned that your company made these assertions to Congress during the exact time period that your executives were engaged in a price fixing scheme to prevent competition from driving down prices of doxycycline hyclate, according to the Department of Justice,” Cummings and Sanders wrote.  “If these allegations are true and Heritage executives sought to keep the price of doxycycline hyclate artificially high through price fixing and other anticompetitive arrangements, your company’s assertions to Congress now seem disingenuous at best.”

In today’s letter, the Members requested all communications relating to their request and Heritage’s response in 2014, as well as all materials about the company’s sales and pricing of doxycycline hyclate. The Members requested this information by December 30, 2016. 

Click here read today’s letter.