McCaskill, Collins Demand Answers Following Report that Pharmaceutical Manufacturer Increased Price of 65-Year-Old Drug by More than 400 Percent

WASHINGTON – Continuing their longstanding work to combat skyrocketing prescription drug prices, U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill and Susan Collins today demanded answers from Nostrum Pharmaceuticals following a report that the company had more than quadrupled the price of their drug nitrofurantoin last month.

In August 2018, Nostrum increased the price of a bottle of the generic antibiotic nitrofurantoin by more than 400%—from $474.75 to $2,392. Nirmal Mulye, the President of Nostrum Pharmaceuticals, reportedly said that there was a “moral requirement to…sell the product for the highest price.” Nitrofurantoin is currently on the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ list of drug shortages.

McCaskill and Collins wrote in a letter to Mulye, “[Y]ou … flatly argued that ‘it is a moral requirement to make money when you can…to sell the product for the highest price,’ and compared your decision to increase the price for nitrofurantoin to that of an art dealer who sells ‘a painting for half a billion dollars.’ … In the pharmaceutical industry—as opposed to the luxury art market—pricing decisions can have a devastating impact on patients and their families that can literally amount to a matter of life or death.”

During their time leading the Senate Special Committee on Aging, McCaskill and Collins launched an in-depth investigation into prescription drug price increases. The Senators also teamed up to introduce bipartisan legislation to increase competition for generic drugs and help lower prescription costs, which was signed into law by President Trump.

Read the Senators’ full letter to Nostrum Pharmaceuticals HERE.