Under the leadership of Republican Senate candidate Bob Hungin in New Jersey, the drug company Celgene Corp. cut the price of its cancer treatment Revlimid by 45 percent in Russia while raising the price 20 percent in the United States.
> The disparity in drug prices is not unusual, experts said, but the pricing practices could provide another line of attack for U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., who has found fertile ground plowing through Hugin's tenure at Celgene.
> Celgene under Hugin spent a record amount of money to help defeat legislation that would have made it easier for generlc companies to get drug samples, and President Donald Trump's Food and Drug Administration singled out the companyfor refusing to make those samples available to competitors.
According to Patients for Affordable Drugs Action, a super pac opposing Hugin, a 21-day supply of Revlimid in 25 mg dose was $14,529 in the U.S.
In Russia, the same product cost only $4,175, according to the Russian Federation's [Federal Antimonopoly Service. ](
> "It's clear that Bob Hugin is more than happy to rip off American cancer patients to line his own pockets, but when he gets a little pressure from Vladimir Putin, like Donald Trump, he caves," Menendez campaign spokesman Steven Sandberg said. "If he can cut the price in Russia, then he can cut the price here at home. He just won't.''
Hugin responded saying:
> "Putin is a thug. Menendez is a crook and a liar," Hugin spokeswoman Megan Piwowar said. "And any attempt to link Marine Corps veteran Bob Hugin to Vladimir Putin doesn't even merit a response."
Menendez and Hugin have been trading jabs over accusations of unethical behavior — Menendez picking on Hugin’s time at Celgene and Hugin bringing up Menendez’s 2015 indictment on federal corruption charges.
> Menendez's trial ended with a deadlocked jury, and the Justice Department declined to try him again after a federal judge acquitted him of some of the charges. He later was "severely admonished" by the Senate Ethics Committee for accepting gifts from Dr. Salomon Melgen, a friend and campaign donor, while intervening with federal agencies on his behalf.
Greg Geissman, a spokesman for Celgene, said nothing about this situation is unusual:
> "Actions like these are a regular occurrence in many countries outside of the United States where the health authorities assess overall health care spending, including medicines, and impose price actions on the manufacturers," Geissman said.