a close up of a person talking on a cell phone: U.S. Representative Katie Porter (D-CA) speaks at a campaign town hall meeting with Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in Mason City, Iowa, U.S., January 11, 2020. Brian Snyder/Reuters


© Brian Snyder/Reuters
U.S. Representative Katie Porter (D-CA) speaks at a campaign town hall meeting with Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in Mason City, Iowa, U.S., January 11, 2020. Brian Snyder/Reuters

  • Rep. Katie Porter tore into Celgene CEO Mark Alles over price hikes on a cancer drug, during a congressional hearing on Wednesday.
  • Porter, alongside freshman congresswomen Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, grilled the CEOs of Teva, Celgene, and Bristol-Myers Squibb as part of a House Oversight Committee investigation into the pricing of Teva’s Multiple Sclerosis drug Copaxone and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s multiple myeloma drug Revlimid. 
  • During the congressional hearing, Porter, a former consumer protection attorney, tore into Alles, writing key figures in her questions — such as how much the CEO makes, how much a single pill of Revlimid cost over the years, and how much his bonus was as a result — on a whiteboard to a striking effect.
  • “Did the drug start to work faster? Were there fewer side effects? How did you change the formula or production of Revlimid to justify this price increase?” Porter asked.
  • Alles confirmed that the manufacturing for the drug remained the same but said the drug was approved for new indications.
  • “To recap here: The drug didn’t get any better, the cancer patients didn’t get any better, you just got better at making money, you just refined your skills at price gouging,” Porter replied.
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Rep. Katie Porter grilled Celgene CEO Mark Alles Wednesday over price hikes on a cancer drug, which she said resulted in a half-million bonus for the pharma executive.

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Alles appeared before the House Oversight Committee alongside the CEOs of Teva and Bristol-Myers Squibb as part of a House investigation into the