Drugmakers have been reluctant to agree to testify before Congress at what is shaping up to be a series of hostile hearings examining the industry's drug pricing practices.
None of the companies "invited" to speak at last week's Senate Finance Committee hearing titled "Drug Pricing in America: A Prescription for Change, Part I" showed. But pharmaceutical companies are starting to come around this week, after some not-so-veiled threats by senators to "compel" their executives to testify, likely with subpoenas.
Lawmakers released letters inviting executives from AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Pfizer and Sanofi to testify later this month at the hearing: "Drug Pricing in America: A Prescription for Change, Part II."
Six of the seven invited said they will send their CEOs to Capitol Hill. J&J is sending another executive, but not CEO Alex Gorsky. Senate Finance Committee ranking member Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., had stopped short of threatening to issue a subpoena, indicating that participation at the hearing wasn't entirely voluntary. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is chairman of the committee.
Here's what the pharmaceutical companies are saying: