Senate investigation will look at drug middlemen: Sen. Chuck Grassley - (CNBC via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Senate Finance Committee chairman Chuck Grassley said the committee's investigation of drug pricing will not be limited to pharmaceutical companies, CNBC reported Tuesday.

  • The news comes as executives from AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Pfizer and Sanofi are set to attend a committee hearing.

  • "I think there is not enough information available about how prices are arrived at," Grassley stated, adding 'there seems to be a great deal of secrecy. For me, on a lot of legislative issues, particularly my oversight works, transparency brings accountability, so we need to get some transparency into it."

  • Grassley wants drugmakers to explain how list prices are set for drugs, as well as the final costs charged to consumers.

  • The news comes after Grassley and Senator Ron Wyden launched a probe into insulin pricing practices by Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi.

  • "Republicans are angry. Democrats are angry — it's really everyone at this point," remarked Ipsita Smolinski, managing director at Capitol Street, noting that drugmakers "are very aware of the environment."

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