Lannett CEO gloats about generic price hikes, investors say

Federal investigations and public scrutiny over high drug prices won't stop Arthur Bedrosian, CEO of Lannett Co., from raising prices, reports The New York Times.

The generic drugmaker, which earned about $600 million in net sales for fiscal year 2016, is the focus on an antitrust inquiry from the U.S. Department of Justice and a drug-pricing investigation by Attorney General George Jepsen, D- Conn., according to the report.

A majority of Lannett's drugs are also off patent, meaning they are susceptible to generic competition, which should bring down prices, according to the report.

Despite these factors, the generic drugmaker continues to make major price hikes. At a March 14 investor conference in Laguna Niguel, Calif., Mr. Bedrosian bragged about his efforts to keep increasing the price of Lannett's products, three unnamed investors told The New York Times.

Here are three recent — or upcoming — price hikes on Lannett's drugs.

1. Lannett more than tripled the price of terbutaline — an asthma and emphysema treatment — from $136 per bottle to $435 in 2016.

2. The price of Lannett's antipsychotic drug fluphenazine jumped from $43.50 per bottle in 2012 to $870 per bottle in 2016. The drug was approved in 1959, has been off patent for years and is on the World Health Organization's list of essential medicines, according to The New York Times.

3. In May, the drugmaker plans to increase the cost of its irritable bowel syndrome drug dicyclomine from $5.90 per bottle — a price that's remained stable since 2001 —to $19.95 per bottle.

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