Drug Price Hike Sparks Senate Probe - (The Wall Street Journal via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Three US senators are seeking more information from Tri-Source Pharma, saying they "would like to better understand the factors contributing to the rising cost" of the 40-year-old cancer drug lomustine, reported The Wall Street Journal.

  • Tri-Source CEO Robert DiCrisci is also the chief executive of NextSource Biotechnology, the Tri-Source unit that markets lomustine under the brand name Gleostine.

  • In a letter to DiCrisci, the lawmakers cite a December report about the 1400-percent increase in the price of the highest dose of lomustine since NextSource acquired rights to the drug in 2013, to about $768 per capsule.

  • The letter asks for company documents and information since 2011 about sales, profits and expenses for the drug, and any documents that the company may have provided in response to requests from other government entities. A spokesman for NextSource said it would comply with the request for more information.

  • For many years, lomustine was marketed under the brand name CeeNU by Bristol-Myers Squibb, which charged about $50 a capsule for the highest dose, before selling the product in 2013.

  • NextSource boosted the price again by 20 percent in February to about $922 per capsule, according to Elsevier. Since then, the company said it was expanding a patient-assistance program to provide the drug free or at a reduced cost to patients with financial hardship, regardless of insurance status.

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