29 Mar STAT News: Congress loves shaming CEOs. So why hasn’t pharma been put on the hot seat?
“It’s a rite of passage for executives in the hot seat: get hauled before Congress, sit for bipartisan tirades, squirm in the face of difficult questioning.
Over the past six months, lawmakers have dragged in former Equifax CEO Richard Smith, Wells Fargo’s Tim Sloan, and Amtrak’s Richard Anderson. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg could be the next one up.
But drug makers, despite persistent concern over prices, have somehow managed to wriggle free from congressional testimony.
It’s been a year and a half since Mylan CEO Heather Bresch appeared before a congressional panel to defend her company’s decisions to hike the price of the Epipen. And it’s been more than two years since notorious “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli pleaded the Fifth in response to lawmakers’ questions rather than justify his infamous 5,000 percent price spike for the drug Daraprim.
Since President Trump came to office, pledging to bring down drug prices and accusing pharma companies of “getting away with murder,” not a single pharmaceutical company CEO has faced the spotlight on Capitol Hill.
Congress has not requested appearances by a roster of executives in the industry in the same way that it once called upon CEOs in the banking or tobacco industries.”