The Washington Post: “Drug executives grilled in Senate over high prices”
POLITICO: “Republicans signal they’ll no longer be reliable allies for drugmakers”
NBC News: “In Senate testimony, pharma executive admits drug prices hit poor the hardest”
These are just a few of the headlines from this week’s hearing where senators questioned the CEOs of seven major drugmakers about the skyrocketing prices they’re charging Americans for prescription drugs.
Here’s another, from Axios: “This isn’t the end of congressional oversight on drug prices” – and it shouldn’t be.
Patients and their providers rely on these prescription drugs for treating injury and managing illness. Yet the drug companies and their shareholders have been treating America’s patients and providers like a piggybank.
Between 2015 and 2017, hospitals and health systems saw a nearly 20 percent increase in average total drug spending per admission … that came on top of the 38 percent increase in inpatient drug spending per admission they saw between 2013 and 2015.
In January, the AHA, Federation of American Hospitals, and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists quantifying the impact. The verdict: Rising drug prices – as well as shortages for many critical medicines – are hurting patients and the hospitals and health systems that care for them each day.
That’s why this past Tuesday’s hearing before the Senate Finance Committee was so important: Not only is it challenging this pattern of price-gouging that can force patients to choose between getting their medication or putting food on the table – it also represents one of the real opportunities for bipartisan progress in health policy before the 2020 election.
Many in Congress are on board with addressing the prescription drug spending crisis. President Trump is on board. The American people are on board. And so are America’s hospitals and health systems.
The AHA has made a number of to rein in drug prices, from addressing anticompetitive actions by brand-name drug manufacturers to speeding up generic drug approvals and passing the CREATES Act. We’re also on the board of the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing, where we’re working with patient groups, physicians, employers, insurers and others who are tired of paying out of control prices for prescription drugs. And we’re going to keep working to hold the drugmakers accountable and make prescription drugs more affordable for America’s patients and the hospitals and health systems that care for them.