The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform today examined the recent surge in prices for certain drugs. Witnesses at the hearing included officials from the Food and Drug Administration; Pharmaceutical Care Management Association; and Turing Pharmaceuticals and Valeant Pharmaceuticals, companies that have sharply increased prices on their drugs. In an AHASTAT blog post, Ashley Thompson, senior vice president for public policy analysis and development, noted, “Hospitals’ top priority is providing patients with safe and effective care, but the skyrocketing costs of pharmaceuticals can make doing so difficult. The high cost of prescription drugs leads to higher out-of-pocket costs for patients, who then may not be able to afford their medications. This may cause them to require further health care interventions – interventions that would have been avoidable if they had been able to take the original prescription.”