Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Menendez has released his second TV ad in two days, “Greed,” which accuses his GOP opponent, Bob Hugin, of “ripping off cancer patients” while serving as CEO of Celgene, a New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company.
“It’s time New Jerseyans begin to see and understand who the real Bob Hugin is—the face of corporate greed,” said Steve Sandberg, Menendez’s campaign communications director. “Bob Hugin doesn’t want to talk about how he lined his own pockets to the tune of millions by gouging cancer patients. He doesn’t want to explain why his company spent millions to block efforts to lower the high cost of his prescription drugs. And Bob Hugin certainly doesn’t want to address why he paid $280 million to settle Medicare fraud and other charges brought by the U.S. Department of Justice. It’s time to hold Bob Hugin accountable for what he did to get rich off the sick, the suffering and the American taxpayer.”
The ad: “Corporate greed looks like… Drug company CEO Bob Hugin. Bob Hugin said the more people need a drug the more he should charge. So, Hugin raised the price of his cancer drug three times in one year—$80 million dollars. When patients had no choice. Yet, he cut those prices in half for Russia. Hugin made millions. Cancer patients paid the price. Bob Hugin will never be on our side.”
Menendez, seeking re-election to a third term in November, went up on the air for this first time on Tuesday with a contrast ad. Hugin had reported spending over $8 million as of July 11, and had put more than $16 million of his own money into the campaign.
The Menendez campaign alleges that Hugin increased the price of a life-saving cancer drug three times in one year, while discounting the same drug in Russia by 45%. They say Hugin personally made $48 million during that same time period.