A Congressional committee led by Senator Bernie Sanders is demanding answers from pharmaceutical companies on the high costs of asthma inhalers, according to a report by The Hill.

Sanders and members of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, sent letters to the CEOs of AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, and Teva Pharma, which are the four largest manufacturers of inhalers, according to The Hill. The report says Congress is demanding “information and documents on internal strategic communications, patient assistance programs and the costs involved in the manufacturing of inhalers.”

For example, one of AstraZeneca’s inhalers costs $645 in the U.S. but just $49 in the UK. One of Boehringer Ingelheim’s inhalers costs $489 in the US but just $7 in France. GSK’s popular Advair HFA costs $319 in the US but just $26 in the UK.

The senators accused the manufacturers of exploiting the regulatory system to ensure their products don’t face competition from generics, which can help drive down costs for patients. “There is no reason for these products to be so expensive. The devices have been available since the 1950s and most of the drugs they use have been on the market for more than 25 years,” the lawmakers noted.

Read more at www.thehill.com