The antitrust division of the U.S. Department of Justice has subpoenaed Mylan N.V. for information relating to the marketing, pricing and sale of its generic doxycycline antibiotic products, the drugmaker said on Friday.

The Department of Justice has sought information on any communication with competitors about the anti-bacterial products, the company said in a regulatory filing, adding it would cooperate with the federal agency.

The nearly 40-year-old antibiotic is used to treat bacterial infections such as acne, pneumonia, Lyme disease, chlamydia and syphilis.

U.S. drugmakers have been under increased pressure this year from the government, insurers and corporations over steep increases in the prices of generic drugs, which have dragged on shares in the sector.

Mylan shares opened down 19 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $50.88.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings opened an investigation last fall into 14 drug companies, including Mylan and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, over price increases of generic drugs.

The U.S. House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform is conducting its own investigation into drug pricing and plans to hold a hearing in 2016.

In February, Sanders and Cummings asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ enforcement arm to investigate generic drug price increases. As an example, they cited doxycycline hyclate 100 milligram capsules, the price of which had more than doubled in the year through June 2014.

There are many forms of doxycyline made by more than a dozen companies, including Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Allergan, and Hikma Pharmaceuticals, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s database.

The discussion over drug pricing has intensified and become part of Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign after Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price of a generic medication by 5000 percent in one day.

Valeant is also being scrutinized by the government, with attorneys general in Massachusetts and New York having opened investigations that will include the subject of pricing.



(Reporting by Caroline Humer in New York and Natalie Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

Source: Reuters Health