STAT: The reinvention of Bob Hugin: Amid anger over drug prices, a former pharma CEO makes a run for the Senate

A report yesterday by STAT, the award-winning publication powered by the Boston Globe that covers the pharmaceutical industry, detailed greedy drug company CEO Bob Hugin’s tireless journey trying to run from his checkered past as head of pharma giant Celgene, escape his ties to Donald Trump, and reinvent himself before the people of New Jersey.

The more New Jerseyans learn about Bob Hugin’s record of settling a lawsuit for misleading cancer patients and defrauding taxpayers and putting profits over patients, the more they reject him.

Here are a few key excerpts:

“Revlimid, Celgene’s banner cancer drug, costs nearly twice as much today as it did in 2010, the result of repeated price increases. On the eve of Hugin’s retirement, Celgene paid $280 million to settle charges that it defrauded Medicare to boost profits.”

“In national polls, concern about the cost of healthcare is the No. 1 issue among voters…. That, combined with the general distaste for pharma, could be damning for the former Celgene CEO…. Hugin defends the price hikes to Revlimid.”

“The way Menendez is beginning to define Bob Hugin is as the guy who raised prices on cancer patients…. Then, down the line, you’ll see ads saying, ‘Oh, by the way, he gave $200,000 to Donald Trump.’ And then the message is he stole money from cancer patients to give to Donald Trump, and that’s a powerful one-two punch in New Jersey.”

“In 2016, [Hugin] gave the maximum $5,200 to Trump’s campaign and donated another $233,000 to the Republican National Committee. “

“In the days following the death of Sen. John McCain, Hugin punted on a question about the president’s yearslong feud with the Arizona Republican, which famously began with Trump denigrating McCain’s military service. Hugin didn’t defend the president but instead pleaded ignorance.”

“Despite Hugin branding himself as ‘a different kind of Republican,’ … a vote for him is a vote to further empower Republicans in the Senate.”