A bipartisan group of U.S. senators yesterday urged the Federal Trade Commission to investigate possible illegal collusion by saline solution manufacturers. “Since the saline shortage began in late 2013, suppliers are reported to have increased their prices by 200%-300%,” Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Mike Lee (R-UT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said in a letter to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. “This equates to increased annual costs to individual hospitals in the range of hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. One health care expert has claimed that this could make the saline solution shortage the most expensive drug shortage in U.S. history. Even more troubling, hospitals have reported that all three saline suppliers are imposing even greater price increases on customers who do not also purchase additional non-saline products, effectively tying saline sales to other products such as the pumps, tubing, and catheters through which saline is delivered to the patient.” Lee and Klobuchar are chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, and Hatch is former chairman of the full Judiciary Committee.