House Democratic Majority Launches Major Probe of Drug Prices

The House Government Oversight Committee, now chaired by Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland has written letters to a dozen major drug companies asking for information about their drug pricing policies.  Democrats are vowing to make lowering drug prices a major goal in the House.

“For years, drug companies have been aggressively increasing prices on existing drugs and setting higher launch prices for new drugs while recording windfall profits,” Cummings said in a statement. “The goals of this investigation are to determine why drug companies are increasing prices so dramatically, how drug companies are using the proceeds, and what steps can be taken to reduce prescription drug prices.”

Meanwhile, Democrats in the House are considering a number of actions to address high drug prices for all consumers as well as ways to lower prices through Medicare and using other government powers.  These options include:

-cap out of pocket costs

-negotiate Medicare drug prices

-more generic drugs to market

-use foreign pricing as reference for US prices

-rebuild patent system

-have the government produce some drugs

-import drugs from Canada

The Trump Administration has also made reducing drug prices a priority and Donald Trump suggested that foreign prices could be used as a basis for pricing in this country.  He also wants to promote changes in Medicare pricing and approve more generic drugs.