The Senate Finance Committee today held a hearing on strategies to reduce prescription drug costs and encourage innovation and competition in the market. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar testified on the administration’s blueprint to lower drug prices, released in May. In a statement submitted to the committee, AHA urged Congress to pass the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples Act to prevent anticompetitive behaviors used to block and delay entry of generic drugs; and H.R. 4392 to prevent a 30% reduction in Medicare payment to certain hospitals for outpatient drugs purchased under the 340B drug savings program, among other actions. Hospital spending on inpatient drugs increased 38.7% per admission between 2013 and 2015, more than three times the increase in spending for retail prescription drugs over the period, the statement notes.

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