From the office of Senator Bernie Sanders, I-VT

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, responded to revelations that generic drug companies reportedly engaged in an effort to obstruct a 2014 congressional investigation launched by the two lawmakers into the firms’ price-fixing practices.

“Executives at a dozen leading pharmaceutical companies reportedly were found to have engaged in an unprecedented cover-up. They deleted their text messages, coordinated their responses and lied to our offices in order to conceal a massive conspiracy to fix prices for generic drugs, raising them by as much as 1,000 percent.

“As they managed this criminal scheme at golf events, parties and industry meals, these executives demonstrated once again that fraud is their business model. How many have died as a result of this illegal racket to push generic drugs for asthma, cancer, HIV and high cholesterol out of the reach of the neediest Americans?

“Americans must not be forced to continue paying outrageously high and inflated prices for the medicine they need. Congress must stand up to the powerful pharmaceutical industry and substantially lower drug prices in this country.

“We will be reviewing the companies’ responses in light of these developments and will take all necessary actions to ensure these companies are held accountable.”