UPDATED 8:50 AM PT – Monday, April 22, 2019
“We’ve achieved the largest decline in drug prices in 46-years, prescription drugs, and I’m asking Congress to work with me to make prescription drugs affordable for every American family. We just got the largest decrease in drug prices — think about that.”
— President Trump
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are receiving bipartisan support for legislation to lower drug prices. Experts believe this is perhaps the only major bill that has a chance to become law, and pass both the Democrat-controlled House and the Republican-controlled Senate.
Multiple new proposed bills are attempting to tackle high drug prices. One bill would ban drug companies from charging Americans more than other countries for the same products, while another would allow the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to sue drug makers who use patents to discourage competition.
“I honestly believe that the president gets it, he understands that Americans are suffering from this. I’ve seen it first hand, I’ve seen seniors have to make a decision at the counter on whether they are going to buy medicine or if they are going to buy groceries. I’ve seen mothers in tears because they couldn’t afford medications for their children. Through my years of practicing pharmacy, I’ve seen nothing short of miracles come out of research and development that are truly miraculous. If they aren’t accessible and obtainable then they do no good whatsoever.” — Rep. Buddy Carter, (R) Ga.
With many lawmakers hoping to pass new laws before August recess, others aren’t as optimistic. House Democrats campaigned on lower drug prices leading up to the 2018 midterm elections, but may have to negotiate with Republicans to reform the Affordable Care Act in order to fulfill their promises.
“We need to work together and build upon it. What’s frustrating to me is there are some bipartisan bills right now in the Congress that would take the Affordable Care Act and fix some of the problems with it, but we don’t ever take those up and that’s part of the problem.” — Rep. John Delaney, (D) Md.
While politicians battle over ways to fix this problem, the U.S. continues to pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs.