New Menendez Campaign Ad Slams Hugin for Putting Profits above Patients

Menendez for Senate · September 12, 2018

Hugin, Celgene Pay $280M to settle lawsuit alleging they put ‘patients at risk’ to ‘boost sales’

New Brunswick, NJ – The Menendez for Senate Campaign today released a new television ad entitled “Side Effects” highlighting how greedy CEO Bob Hugin’s drug company paid $280 million to settle federal whistleblower fraud charges that it lied to doctors and patients about their drug’s potentially fatal side effects, putting “patients at risk” to “boost sales.”

“Bob Hugin and Celgene were accused of putting cancer patients at risk of further physical harm just to boost sales and pad their own pockets.  Bob Hugin didn’t take a stand and defend himself and his company against charges they broke federal law.  Instead, he paid $280 million to avoid trial and make his problems go away,” said Menendez for Senate Communications Director Steve Sandberg.  “It’s time greedy CEO Bob Hugin come clean about how he made his fortune putting profits above patients.  He personally made $100 million allegedly putting lives at risk.  New Jersey voters have a right to know how many cancer patients suffered at the hands of Bob Hugin’s corrupt and craven practices as the head of pharma giant Celgene.”

CLICK HERE TO WATCH

TRANSCRIPT:

Disclaimer: I’m Bob Menendez and I approve this message.

Voiceover: Bob Hugin’s company was sued for “…putting cancer patients in danger by hiding information about potentially fatal side effects.”

Again, “…putting cancer patients in danger by hiding … potentially fatal side effects”

Hugin’s company was sued for being deceptive and dangerous. They settled by paying $280 million.

Misleading cancer patients. Misleading voters.

Bob Hugin will never be on our side.

According to the federal lawsuit brought by the U.S. Dept. of Justice, New Jersey, 27 other states and the District of Columbia, Hugin and Celgene not just misled doctors and patients about their drugs’ effectiveness and side effects, but also defrauded Medicare, promoted two of its most successful drugs off-label for uses not approved by the FDA, and orchestrated a kickback scheme in which physicians were paid to prescribe the drugs.  After five years dragging through the courts, Celgene agreed to pay $280 million to settle the case only after Bob Hugin gave a videotaped, sworn deposition, and then had the record sealed.

As the head of Celgene, Hugin arbitrarily hiked the price of the pharmaceutical giant’s most successful cancer drug three times in one year, while simultaneously giving cancer patients in Russia a 45% discount on the same drug.  During the same period, Hugin personally made $48 million over his last 15 months at Celgene.  In defending his pricing decisions, Hugin admitted to price gouging American cancer patients, telling the Press of AC, “… if [a drug] becomes more effective and more valuable, then more value should be accrued to the drug.”

The Trump FDA has also cited Celgene, during Hugin’s reign, as the #1 offender in blocking the manufacturing of lower-cost generics, manipulating the market and artificially increasing demand for their drug.  Hugin and Celgene also spent millions lobbying Congress to torpedo legislation that would have made it easier for generics to come to market, giving patients lower-cost alternatives to Celgene’s high-priced drugs.

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