The House Ways and Means Committee today held a hearing on the cost of rising prescription drug prices.
Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., and Ranking Member Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said they are committed to working on bipartisan reforms to lower drug prices. “Consumers, taxpayers, employers, and our public programs like Medicare and Medicaid are all bearing the burden of years of high prices, unsustainable price increases, lack of transparency, and incentives in our government programs that too often reward high prices,” they said. “We are committed to working together to end this cycle while preserving access to life-saving innovations.”
Witnesses Mark Miller, executive vice president of health care at Arnold Ventures and former executive director of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission; Rachel Sachs, associate professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis; and Joseph Antos, a scholar in health care and retirement policy at the American Enterprise Institute, proposed policy options to lower prescription drug costs in Medicare Parts B and D; while witnesses for the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust and Families USA highlighted the impact of high drug costs on retirees and people with disabilities, respectively.
Last month, the Senate Finance Committee also launched a series of bipartisan hearings on high prescription drug prices and potential policy and oversight solutions.
The AHA, Federation of American Hospitals and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists recently released a report that found continued rising drug prices, as well as shortages for many critical medications, are disrupting patient care and forcing hospitals to delay infrastructure and staffing investments and identify alternative therapies. To restrain out-of-control drug prices, the AHA has recommended several options including stopping brand-name manufacturers' anticompetitive actions by addressing ever-greening and pay-for-delay practices, speeding up generic drug approvals, and passing the CREATES Act.

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