Refused to Produce Documents in Response to Aging Committee Subpoena
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO), the Chairman and the Ranking Member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, spoke on the Senate floor today to deliver an important update regarding the Committee’s ongoing, bipartisan investigation into the sudden, aggressive price spikes of decades-old prescription drugs whose patents had expired long ago.
The Senators announced today that former Turing CEO Martin Shkreli has invoked the Fifth Amendment in response to a December 24th document subpoena from the Aging Committee. Shkreli was recently indicted on seven counts unrelated to Turing Pharmaceuticals and predating the company’s corporate existence. The documents the Committee requested, however, relate to Mr. Shkreli in his capacity as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals. The Committee believes these documents are essential to understanding why companies can impose egregious price increases on decades-old prescription drugs they have acquired and what policies should be considered to end this disturbing practice.
“To be clear, Mr. Shkreli is essentially arguing that the very act of producing and authenticating documents that are seemingly unrelated to the charges filed against him, may incriminate him,” Senator Collins said from the floor. “The Committee has asked him, through Counsel, for an explanation of the rationale for this argument, and is awaiting a response. The Committee is troubled by his unsupported invocation given that the Turing documents we have requested appear to be unrelated to the charges brought against him. Absent a valid justification for the grounds for invoking the Fifth Amendment, Mr. Shkreli’s assertion could hinder our investigation.”
“In order to invoke the Fifth Amendment, there needs to be a nexus between the documents and information that one is refusing to provide under the privilege and an actual fear of self-incrimination in a criminal proceeding,” Senator McCaskill said from the floor. “Here, we are asking for documents that have no apparent connection to any ongoing criminal proceeding. And, if there is no connection between the documents and a criminal proceeding, or if the documents that you have been asked to produce are corporate documents, the courts have been very clear that they should be turned over to authorities.”
The Senate Aging Committee opened its bipartisan investigation into these sudden, aggressive price hikes for a variety of drugs used widely for decades on November 4, 2015. The Committee held the first in a series of hearings titled, Sudden Price Spikes in Off-Patent Drugs: Perspectives from the Front Lines, on December 9, 2015.
See below for text and video of the Senators’ remarks: